Definition of chance in English:

chance

Syllabification: chance
Pronunciation: /CHans
 
/

noun

1A possibility of something happening: a chance of victory there is little chance of his finding a job
More example sentences
  • I'm always singing around the house and can't believe I could be in with a chance to let the nation vote for my voice.
  • Now is the time to get your tickets for the monthly community draw and be in with a chance to get your hands on some great money prizes.
  • It is a good draw with all the teams in with a chance of qualification.
Synonyms
1.1 (chances) The probability of something happening: he played down his chances of becoming chairman
More example sentences
  • Had he scored, the chances are Hibs could probably have added another chapter to their hard-luck story.
  • That risk figure is calculated on the basis that you figure out what can go wrong and what the chances are of that happening.
  • What do you think the chances are of that happening and what would be the effect if he did?
1.2 [in singular] An opportunity to do or achieve something: I gave her a chance to answer
More example sentences
  • Most people would agree that Castle-dermot deserves the chance to achieve this potential.
  • A golden chance to achieve success and happiness in life, that does exist in a world of realities.
  • It was a lack of putting touch that cost Ashworth the chance of achieving his long-held dream of playing in The Open.
Synonyms
opportunity, opening, occasion, turn, time, window (of opportunity)
informal shot
1.3A ticket in a raffle or lottery.
1.4 Baseball An opportunity to make a defensive play, which if missed counts as an error: 541 straight chances without an error
More example sentences
  • In the field, he has played well since making a throwing error on his first chance.
2The occurrence and development of events in the absence of any obvious design: he met his brother by chance what a lucky chance that you are here
More example sentences
  • I was at Mosport by chance at a private event for providing on-track coaching to owners of some very exotic cars.
  • P, the manager of Cafe Bastille on Belden Lane, by chance of fate is also our neighbour.
  • Burlison invented fuzz by chance when he accidentally dropped his amplifier to the floor before a gig.
Synonyms
accident, coincidence, serendipity, fate, destiny, fortuity, providence, happenstance; good fortune, luck, good luck, flukefortuitously, by accident, accidentally, coincidentally, serendipitously; unintentionally, inadvertently

adjective

[attributive] Back to top  
Fortuitous; accidental: a chance meeting
More example sentences
  • She now runs a boutique and recounts how a chance encounter changed her life.
  • I wouldn't hang my hat on saying it was such a chance encounter.
  • Secondly, there must be a chance meeting between the right female and male.
Synonyms

verb

Back to top  
1 [no object] Do something by accident or without design: if they chanced to meet
More example sentences
  • White wondered silently if this man he chanced to meet in the desert were really as well intending as he seemed to be.
  • Nobody I have ever chanced to meet has ever played the cards as well as Evelyn.
  • Maybe in all of his handling of it, he'd finally chanced to accidentally turn it on.
Synonyms
1.1 (chance upon/on) Find or see by accident: he chanced upon an interesting advertisement
More example sentences
  • So I have converted 60 people to the cause (some of those people may just have chanced across the site by accident - looking up kinky octopuses no doubt).
  • As from next year, there will be no domestic coverage of Test cricket, so no opportunity for hungover passers-by to accidentally chance upon such a thriller.
  • The answer had become clear to Eaton last night, when he had chanced upon Clara comforting Will after Rebecca's accident.
Synonyms
come across/upon, run across/into, happen on, light on, stumble on, find by chance, meet (by chance), bump into
2 [with object] informal Do (something) despite its being dangerous or of uncertain outcome: she waited a few seconds and chanced another look
More example sentences
  • Children as young as eight and nine have been spotted chancing dangerous tightrope walks across the poles which rise up to 30 ft above the ground.
  • I chanced a second look and was rewarded with even more shots pelting my position dangerously close to my face.
  • I chanced a look up and Liam smiled uncertainly at me.
Synonyms
risk, hazard, venture, try
formal essay

Origin

Middle English: from Old French cheance, from cheoir 'fall, befall', based on Latin cadere.

Phrases

by any chance

Possibly (used in tentative inquiries or suggestions): were you looking for me by any chance?
More example sentences
  • Is Michelle still working there, by any chance?
  • Is this an anti-capitalism statement, by any chance?
  • Did you take your own legal advice, by any chance?

no chance

informal There is no possibility of that: I asked if we could leave early and she said, “No chance.”

on the (off) chance

Just in case: Joan phoned at noon on the off chance that he’d be home
More example sentences
  • I'd found her number in the phone book and called her up on the chance that she'd meet me.
  • What are the chances that, even on the off chance that she did happen to see this ad, she would actually remember one drunken night in a youth hostel ten years ago?
  • So, on the off chance that any occupation officials are reading this post, I'm going to list a few guidelines that may help you avoid bad coverage.

stand a chance

[usually with negative] Have a prospect of success or survival: his rivals don’t stand a chance
More example sentences
  • The Tory idea stands a chance of success depending on which councillors turn up for the meeting.
  • So they knew they needed to beat each other in order to stand a chance of survival.
  • The Olympic committee is backing a recent sports council initiative that agreed to focus most of its funding on sports that stood a chance of Olympic success.

take a chance (or chances)

Behave in a way that leaves one vulnerable to danger or failure.
More example sentences
  • More often than not it appears to be the belief that it is better to play it safe rather than take a chance at change and failure.
  • The four fearless musicians who comprise NEWA (Nicholas Brancker, Eddie Bullen, Wilson Laurencin and Arturo Tappin) took chances, venturing into the unknown.
  • For such a small investment its well worth taking a chance and it could be you who has all their Christmas and New Year money worries wiped out instantly.
Synonyms
risk, gamble, venture, speculation, long shot, shot in the dark
(take a chance on) Put one’s trust in (something or someone) knowing that it may not be safe or certain.
More example sentences
  • The players might have done it themselves but I wasn't prepared to take a chance on that.
  • To make something like Thalos happen takes some courage, and I have to hand it to London and Vienna for taking a chance on trusting their public to show themselves in a good way.
  • With the chart singles being blared out of every available set of speakers, which are you going to do - go for the name you know and trust, or take a chance on one you don't?

take one's chances

Do something risky with the hope of success.
More example sentences
  • We always thought he would come through and we are just hoping he takes his chance now.
  • The Bellamys are being fully refunded and hope to take their chance to go on another cruise towards the end of the year.
  • Up here you get your chance, and you take your chance.

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