Chance, adv. By chance; perchance.
Chance, a. Happening by chance; casual.
Chance, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Chanced p. pr. & vb. n. Chancing.] To happen, come, or arrive, without design or expectation. “Things that chance daily.”
If a bird's nest chance to be before thee. --Deut. xxii. 6.
I chanced on this letter. --Shak.
Note: Often used impersonally; as, how chances it?
How chance, thou art returned so soon? --Shak.
Chance, v. t.
1. To take the chances of; to venture upon; -- usually with it as object.
Come what will, I will chance it. --W. D. Howells.
2. To befall; to happen to. [Obs.]
1. A supposed material or psychical agent or mode of activity other than a force, law, or purpose; fortune; fate; -- in this sense often personified.
It is strictly and philosophically true in nature and reason that there is no such thing as chance or accident; it being evident that these words do not signify anything really existing, anything that is truly an agent or the cause of any event; but they signify merely men's ignorance of the real and immediate cause. --Samuel Clark.
Any society into which chance might throw him. --Macaulay.
Which erring men call Chance. --Milton.
2. The operation or activity of such agent.
By chance a priest came down that way. --Luke x. 31.
3. The supposed effect of such an agent; something that befalls, as the result of unknown or unconsidered forces; the issue of uncertain conditions; an event not calculated upon; an unexpected occurrence; a happening; accident; fortuity; casualty.
It was a chance that happened to us. --1 Sam. vi. 9.
The Knave of Diamonds tries his wily arts,
And wins (O shameful chance!) the Queen of Hearts. --Pope.
I spake of most disastrous chance. --Shak.
4. A possibility; a likelihood; an opportunity; -- with reference to a doubtful result; as, a chance to escape; a chance for life; the chances are all against him.
So weary with disasters, tugged with fortune.
That I would get my life on any chance,
To mend it, or be rid on 't --Shak.
5. Math. Probability.
Note: ☞ The mathematical expression, of a chance is the ratio of frequency with which an event happens in the long run. If an event may happen in a ways and may fail in b ways, and each of these a + b ways is equally likely, the chance, or probability, that the event will happen is measured by the fraction a/a + b, and the chance, or probability, that it will fail is measured by b/a + b.
Chance comer, one who comes unexpectedly.
The last chance, the sole remaining ground of hope.
The main chance, the chief opportunity; that upon which reliance is had, esp. self-interest.
Theory of chances, Doctrine of chances Math., that branch of mathematics which treats of the probability of the occurrence of particular events, as the fall of dice in given positions.
To mind one's chances, to take advantage of every circumstance; to seize every opportunity.
adj : occurring or appearing or singled out by chance; "their
accidental meeting led to a renewal of their
friendship"; "seek help from casual passers-by"; "a
casual meeting"; "a chance occurrence" [syn: accidental,
n 1: a possibility due to a favorable combination of
circumstances; "the holiday gave us the opportunity to
visit Washington"; "now is your chance" [syn: opportunity]
2: an unknown and unpredictable phenomenon that causes an event
to result one way rather than another; "bad luck caused
his downfall"; "we ran into each other by pure chance"
[syn: luck, fortune, hazard]
3: a risk involving danger; "you take a chance when you let her
4: a measure of how likely it is that some event will occur;
"what is the probability of rain?"; "we have a good chance
of winning" [syn: probability]
v 1: be the case by chance; "I chanced to meet my old friend in
2: take a risk in the hope of a favorable outcome; "When you
buy these stocks you are gambling" [syn: gamble, risk,
hazard, take chances, adventure, run a risk, take
3: come upon, as if by accident; meet with; "We find this idea
in Plato"; "I happened upon the most wonderful bakery not
very far from here"; "She chanced upon an interesting book
in the bookstore the other day" [syn: find, happen, bump,
(Luke 10:31). "It was not by chance that the priest came down by
that road at that time, but by a specific arrangement and in
exact fulfilment of a plan; not the plan of the priest, nor the
plan of the wounded traveller, but the plan of God. By
coincidence (Gr. sungkuria) the priest came down, that is, by
the conjunction of two things, in fact, which were previously
constituted a pair in the providence of God. In the result they
fell together according to the omniscient Designer's plan. This
is the true theory of the divine government." Compare the
meeting of Philip with the Ethiopian (Acts 8:26, 27). There is
no "chance" in God's empire. "Chance" is only another word for
our want of knowledge as to the way in which one event falls in
with another (1 Sam. 6:9; Eccl. 9:11).