- 1A possibility of something happening: there is a chance of winning the raffle [mass noun]: there is little chance of his finding a jobMore 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.
- 1.1 (chances) The probability of something desirable happening: he played down his chances of becoming chairmanMore 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 answerMore 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.
- 2 [mass noun] The occurrence of events in the absence of any obvious intention or cause: he met his brother by chanceMore example sentences
accident, coincidence, serendipity, fate, a twist of fate, destiny, fortuity, fortune, providence, freak, hazard; a piece of good fortune, (a bit of) luck, (a bit of) good luck, a fluke, a happy chance; North American happenstancefortuitously, by accident, accidentally, coincidentally, serendipitously, unintentionally, inadvertently; unwittingly, unknowingly, unawares, unconsciously
- 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
- Fortuitous; accidental: a chance meetingMore 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.
verbBack to top
- 1 [no object, with infinitive] Do something by accident or without intending to: he was very effusive if they chanced to meetMore 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.
- 1.1 (chance upon/on/across) Find or see by accident: he chanced upon an interesting advertisementMore 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.
- 2 [with object] • informal Do (something) despite its being dangerous or of uncertain outcome: they chanced a late holidayMore 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.
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
- Possibly (used in tentative enquiries 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?
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) 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.
Middle English: from Old French cheance, from cheoir 'fall, befall', based on Latin cadere.