Definition of chance in English:
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
adjective[attributive] Back to top
verbBack to top
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
The ultimate source of chance is Latin cadere ‘to fall’, the root of many other words including those listed at accident. In medieval times chance could mean ‘an accident’ as well as ‘the way things happen, fortune’. There are a number of stories associated with the origin of the phrase chance your arm, meaning ‘to take a risk’. One suggests that it was a slang expression used by tailors who, in rushing the job of sewing in a sleeve, risked the stitches coming loose. Or it may refer to the stripes on the sleeve of a military uniform that indicate a soldier's rank. Doing something that broke military regulations might put you at risk of losing one of your stripes. The most colourful explanation links the phrase with a feud between the Irish Ormond and Kildare families in 1492. According to the story the Earl of Ormond had taken refuge in St Patrick's cathedral in Dublin. The Earl of Kildare, wishing to end the feud and make peace, cut a hole in the cathedral door and put his arm through. The Earl of Ormond accepted his offer of reconciliation and shook his hand rather than cutting it off.
as chance would have it
- As it happened: as chance would have it, we were going camping that weekendMore example sentences
- There was no forensic evidence but as chance would have it at about 2am a neighbour saw a man whom he knew by sight and first name visiting the property.
- All a bit negative, so as a columnist, I wanted to seek out a more positive view of the game, and as chance would have it, I ended up enjoying coffee with one of Norway's most celebrated authors, Thorvald Steen.
- People come from far and wide to sample their fish'n'chips, so we were just expecting to get some take out - but as chance would have it there was one table free, the fabled Window Seat!
by any chance
chance one's arm (or luck)
- British informal Undertake something although it may be dangerous or unsuccessful: the ferryman decided not to chance his luck in the stormMore example sentences
- I usually leave them to chance their luck in the garden through the winter, and although they coped with the very wet winter we had last year, I wonder if they will be so fortunate this year.
- The emergence of ‘no-win no-fee’ law firms makes this ‘chancing your luck’ possible.
- How about chancing your arm on a couple of spells?
chance would be a fine thing
- British informal Expressing a speaker’s belief that something is desirable but the opportunity is unlikely to arise: ‘You should come to the cafe with us.’ ‘Chance would be a fine thing.’More example sentences
- Nobody wants a police state - chance would be a fine thing with the human rights brigade always waiting to pounce - but how would those who voted against the 90-day clause feel if there was yet another terrorist attack?
- The chance would be a fine thing - with Wellington boots on!
- But chance would be a fine thing, say Labour MPs.
on the (off) chance
- Just in case: she thought of ringing on the off chance of catching him at the flatMore 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
- Have a prospect of success or survival: his rivals don’t stand a chanceMore 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: the bank was prepared to take a chance and lend him 40% of the purchase price it was probably safe, but she was taking no chancesMore 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.
- (take a chance on)8.1 Put one’s trust in (something or someone) knowing that it may not be safe or certain: his boss was prepared to take a chance on youngstersMore 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 chance
- Do something risky with the hope of success: he was tempted to stay on the train and take his chanceMore 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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