Definition of chance-medley in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈCHansˌmedlē/


Law , rare
The killing of a person accidentally in self-defense in a fight.
Example sentences
  • The murder of the constable was, if not properly accidental, at least rather in the nature of chance medley.
  • In his case, on appeal, the Chief Justice for the first time ruled that the defence of chance medley that downsized murder to manslaughter could not be pleaded under British law.
  • You say that James Annesley is Not Guilty of the felony and murder whereof he stands indicted, but is Guilty of chance-medley.


Late 15th century: from Anglo-Norman French chance medlee, literally 'mixed chance', from chance 'luck' + medlee, feminine past participle of medler 'to mix' (based on Latin miscere).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: chance-med·ley

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