Meaning of CHANCE in English



when something happens by chance

1. when something happens without being planned

2. happening by chance

3. when things are done, chosen etc by chance

when you have a chance to do something

4. when you have the chance to do something

5. to use an opportunity

6. to not use an opportunity




when you do something without intending to : ↑ ACCIDENTALLY

see also





1. when something happens without being planned

▷ by chance /baɪ ˈtʃɑːnsǁ-ˈtʃæns/ [adverb]

if something happens by chance, it happens unexpectedly and seems to have no particular cause :

▪ I met an old friend by chance on the train.

▪ If by chance I’m not in when she calls, can you take a message?

quite/purely/entirely by chance

completely by chance

▪ Quite by chance, a TV crew was filming in the area when the accident happened.

▷ by accident /baɪ ˈæksə̇d ə nt/ [adverb]

if you do something by accident, you do it by chance and without intending to do it :

▪ Fleming discovered penicillin almost by accident.

▪ We ended up by accident on the wrong train and had to ride all the way to Montreal.

▪ The trigger of the gun is locked so that it cannot be fired by accident.

quite by accident

completely by chance

▪ Lombardi heard about their plan quite by accident.

▷ happen to do something /ˌhæpən tə ˈduː something/ [verb phrase not in progressive]

if you happen to do something, you do it by chance and not because of any particular reason or plan :

▪ Justin forgot the map but I happened to have another one in the glove compartment.

just happen to do something

▪ I’m sorry I didn’t phone first -- I just happened to be passing and thought I’d drop in.

▪ We’re not related -- we just happen to have the same name.

▷ as luck would have it /əz ˌlʌk wʊd ˈhæv ɪt/ [adverb]

use this to say that something happened by chance, when this is connected with what you have just been talking about :

▪ This was the first time I had ever seen a panda, and as luck would have it, I had my camera with me.

▪ As luck would have it, it rained the next day and the game was canceled.

▷ coincidence /kəʊˈɪnsɪd ə ns, kəʊˈɪnsəd ə ns/ [countable/uncountable noun]

a surprising situation in which two things happen that are similar or seem connected, but no-one planned or intended this to happen :

▪ Hi Phil. What a coincidence -- we were just talking about you.

by coincidence

▪ My mother is called Anna, and by coincidence my wife’s mother is called Anna too.

just a coincidence

▪ It was just a coincidence that we were in Paris at the same time.

by a strange/sad/happy etc coincidence

▪ By a strange coincidence the king was assassinated on the very spot where his grandfather had been killed.

▷ luck/chance /lʌk, tʃɑːnsǁtʃæns/ [uncountable noun]

the way in which good or bad things seem to happen to people by chance :

▪ There’s no skill in a game like roulette, it’s all luck.

▪ Success is not a matter of chance - it takes a lot of hard work.

pure luck/chance

▪ It was pure chance that we ran into each other on the street.

leave something to chance

let things happen by chance

▪ You must plan ahead. You can’t leave these things to chance.

▷ fate /feɪt/ [uncountable noun]

the power or force that is supposed to control the way everything happens, so that people cannot completely control their own lives :

▪ It was fate that brought us together.

▪ They saw themselves as victims of fate.

by a twist of fate

because fate made things happen in an unexpected way

▪ By a strange twist of fate the judge died on the very day that Cordell was executed.

▷ accident /ˈæksɪd ə nt, ˈæksəd ə nt/ [countable noun]

something that happens by chance with no plan or intention :

▪ I only met her again through a fortunate accident.

▪ It is no accident that most of the country’s outstanding public schools are in wealthy communities.

▷ as it happens /əz ɪt ˈhæpənz/ [adverb]

use this when you are talking about a situation that is surprising because by chance it is connected with something else that has been noticed or mentioned :

▪ We’ve just seen a really beautiful house and, as it happens, it’s for sale.

▪ I needed to borrow a car, and as it happened Andrew wasn’t using his.

2. happening by chance

▷ chance /tʃɑːnsǁtʃæns/ [adjective only before noun]

chance meeting/remark/discovery etc

a meeting etc that happens unexpectedly and was not planned or arranged :

▪ Their friendship was the result of a chance meeting.

▪ A chance encounter at the conference gave him the opportunity to tell the professor about his work.

▪ Wilson hoped his chance discovery would benefit poor families in developing nations.

▷ accidental /ˌæksɪˈdentl◂, ˌæksəˈdentl◂/ [adjective]

happening by chance, without being planned or intended, especially in a way that has a bad result :

▪ Are you insured against accidental damage to your property?

▪ A system of valves limits accidental releases of the substance.

accidentally [adverb]

▪ Don’t tell Sue about our plan. She might accidentally mention it to the wrong person.

▪ He claims he opened my mail accidentally but I’m not sure I believe him.

▷ fortuitous /fɔːʳˈtjuːɪtəs, fɔːʳˈtjuːətəsǁ-ˈtuː-/ [adjective] formal

happening by chance, especially in a way that has a good result :

▪ A fortuitous fire destroyed all evidence of his wrongdoing.

3. when things are done, chosen etc by chance

▷ at random /ət ˈrændəm/ [adverb]

if you do or choose things at random, you do or choose them without using any plan or system :

▪ The forms were distributed at random to people passing by.

▪ While he waited, he picked up a magazine, turned to a page at random, and started reading.

▪ Twenty students were chosen at random to take part in the experiment.

▷ random /ˈrændəm/ [adjective]

something that is random is done or chosen without using any plan or system :

▪ The union believes that the random drug testing of employees is an invasion of their privacy.

▪ A few random shots were fired, but the battle was over.

randomly [adverb]

▪ Participants for the show are randomly selected from a long list.

▷ arbitrary /ˈɑːʳbɪtrəri, ˈɑːʳbətrəri, -triǁ-treri/ [adjective]

something that is arbitrary is decided or arranged without any reason, plan, or system, especially in a way that seems unfair :

▪ The way the programme of events is organized seems completely arbitrary to me.

▪ The fans complained about the apparently arbitrary distribution of tickets for the next game.

arbitrarily /ˈɑːbɪtrərəli, ˈɑːbətrərəliǁˌɑːrbə̇ˈtrerə̇li/ [adverb]

▪ Protesters accused the military of arbitrarily arresting Pereira and forty others.

4. when you have the chance to do something

▷ chance /tʃɑːnsǁtʃæns/ [countable noun]

a situation in which it is possible for you to do something enjoyable, useful, or exciting, or something that you want to do :

chance to do something

▪ I never got the chance to thank him for all his help.

▪ It’s a beautiful building - you should go and see it if you have a chance.

give somebody a/the chance to do something

▪ I wish he’d just give me the chance to explain.

take the chance to do something

use a chance when you have it

▪ You should take the chance to travel while you are still young.

chance for somebody to do something

▪ ‘Back to School Night’ will be a chance for parents to meet their child’s teacher.

somebody’s last chance

when you will not have another chance

▪ It was her last chance to see him before she left town.

▷ opportunity /ˌɒpəˈtjuːnɪti, ˌɒpəˈtjuːnətiǁˌɑːpərˈtuː-/ [countable noun]

a chance to do something, especially something that is important or useful to you, or something that you want to do very much :

▪ It was too good an opportunity to pass up.

opportunity to do something

▪ All he needs is an opportunity to show his ability.

opportunity of doing something

▪ After they had refused him the opportunity of improving his position, he resigned.

opportunity for somebody to do something

▪ We see this as an exciting opportunity for our companies to work together.

have an/the opportunity (to do something)

▪ She was delighted to have an opportunity to talk with someone who shared her interest in classical music.

equal opportunities

the same opportunities as other people

▪ All over the world women are demanding equal opportunities.

▷ break /breɪk/ [countable noun] informal

a sudden or unexpected chance to do something, especially to be successful in your job :

▪ Gary wants to work in television. He’s just waiting for a break.

lucky break

▪ Seeing that advertisement in the paper was a lucky break for me.

big break

▪ Nimoy’s big break in television came in the mid-'60s, when he won the role of Spock on ‘Star Trek’.

▷ golden opportunity /ˌgəʊld ə n ɒpəˈtjuːnə̇tiǁ-ɑːpərˈtuː-/ [countable noun]

▪ I got a grant from my university to study in the USA for a year. It’s a golden opportunity!

a golden opportunity (for somebody) to do something

▪ The management course is being paid for by the company and it’s a golden opportunity to improve your skills.

▷ chance of a lifetime /ˌtʃɑːns əv ə ˈlaɪftaɪm◂ǁˌtʃæns-/ [noun phrase]

the chance to do something very exciting or important that you might never be able to do again :

▪ This job is the chance of a lifetime. You’d be a fool not to take it.

▪ If you don’t hurry up and make a decision, you could miss the chance of a lifetime.

▷ room/scope /ruːm, skəʊp/ [uncountable noun]

a chance to do things you want to do, in the way that you want to do them. Scope is more formal than room :

▪ He refused the post because he felt it didn’t offer him much scope.

room/scope for

▪ There will always be room for debate and disagreement in this class.

▪ I have two jobs, which doesn’t leave much room for socializing.

▪ Despite our recent success, there is still scope for improvement.

room/scope to do something

▪ We’ve left the course deliberately vague, so there’s room to concentrate on your particular areas of interest.

▪ Better paid labour means greater scope to increase the company’s profits.

▷ prospects /ˈprɒspektsǁˈprɑː-/ [plural noun]

the chance of being successful at something in the future, especially your job :

▪ He had no job, no family, no home, no prospects.

▪ Employers are now offering more jobs with quality training and excellent career prospects.

prospects for

▪ The prospects for an alliance between the two nations do not look good.

▷ possibility /ˌpɒsɪˈbɪləti‖ˌpaː-, ˌpɒsəˈbɪləti‖ˌpaː-/ [countable noun]

the chance to do something :

possibility for

▪ The possibilities for improvement are endless.

▪ We need to investigate all possibilities for helping these children.

▷ open doors for/open the door for /ˌəʊpən ˈdɔːʳz fɔːʳ, ˌəʊpən ðə ˈdɔːʳ fɔːʳ/ [verb phrase]

to give someone an opportunity to do something, for example the opportunity to do a particular job :

▪ My experience in the Peace Corps really opened doors for me when I started looking for a job.

▪ Alice Coachman’s Olympic success opened the door for generations of African-American track athletes.

5. to use an opportunity

▷ take the opportunity /ˌteɪk ði ɒpəˈtjuːnə̇tiǁ-ɑːpərˈtuː-/ [verb phrase]

take the opportunity to do something

▪ I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your help.

take the opportunity of doing something

▪ I’m going to take every opportunity of going to see Brian while he’s living in Germany.

▷ grab the chance /ˌgræb ðə ˈtʃɑːnsǁ-ˈtʃæns/ [verb phrase] informal

to quickly use an opportunity to do something, especially when you think you might not get another chance :

▪ It may be the last time he offers you the job so I’d grab the chance while you can.

grab the chance to do something

▪ Knowing how difficult it is to find a job I grabbed the chance to be trained as an electrician.

▷ jump at the chance/opportunity /ˈdʒʌmp ət ðə ˌtʃɑːnsǁ -ˌtʃæns, ɒpəˌtjuːnə̇ti ǁ-ɑːpərˌtuː-/ [verb phrase]

to eagerly and quickly use an opportunity to do something :

▪ The early retirement plan is excellent and I’m surprised that people haven’t jumped at the opportunity.

jump at the chance/opportunity to do something

▪ When the resort was put up for sale, the Millers jumped at the chance to buy it.

▪ She thought Lewis would jump at the opportunity to make some extra money on weekends.

jump at the chance/opportunity of doing something

▪ Who wouldn’t jump at the chance of spending a month in Australia?

▷ strike while the iron is hot /ˌstraɪk waɪl ði ˌaɪəʳn ɪz ˈhɒtǁ-ˈhɑːt/ [verb phrase]

to do something quickly, while you are in a situation in which you are most likely to be successful :

▪ Don’t wait until tomorrow before you tell him, strike while the iron is hot!

▷ make hay while the sun shines /meɪk ˌheɪ waɪl ðə ˈsʌn ˌʃaɪnz/ [verb phrase] spoken

to take the opportunity to do something now while the conditions are good, because you might not be able to do it later :

▪ Let’s make hay while the sun shines and finish this project before I start falling asleep.

▷ opportunist /ˈɒpətjuːnɪst, ˈɒpətjuːnəstǁˌɑːpərˈtuː-/ [countable noun]

someone who always looks for and takes opportunities that might make them more successful -- used to show disapproval :

▪ It is difficult to tell whether he really wants to help May or whether he is just an opportunist.

▪ As the finance company started to fail a few opportunists managed to make more money out of it.

6. to not use an opportunity

▷ miss a chance/an opportunity /ˌmɪs ə ˈtʃɑːns, ən ˌɒpəˈtjuːnə̇tiǁ-ˈtʃæns-, ˌɑːpərˈtuː-/ [verb phrase]

miss a chance/an opportunity of

▪ Denise never misses the chance of a free meal.

miss a chance/an opportunity to do something

▪ Don’t miss this great opportunity to fly for half price.

▪ Dan never misses an opportunity to remind me that I still owe him money.

miss your chance/opportunity

▪ Jerry’s already sold the car to someone else. You’ve missed your chance.

▷ miss out on /ˌmɪs ˈaʊt ɒn/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to not use the chance to do something enjoyable or useful, especially when this is not a good thing :

▪ If you don’t come to the picnic you’ll miss out on all the fun.

▪ I don’t want to be the type of father who is so busy he misses out on his daughter’s childhood.

▷ blow it/blow your chance /ˈbləʊ ɪt, ˌbləʊ jɔːʳ ˈtʃɑːnsǁ-ˈtʃæns/ [verb phrase] informal

to waste a chance that you had to do or get something good :

▪ Don’t panic and talk too much in the interview or you’ll really blow it.

▪ I was afraid I’d blown my chance but she agreed to go out again on Saturday night.

blow your chances of doing something

▪ She started running much too fast at the beginning and blew her chances of winning the race.

▷ miss the boat /ˌmɪs ðə ˈbəʊt/ [verb phrase] informal

to be too late to use an opportunity to do something good :

▪ Buy your shares in the company now or you’ll miss the boat.

▪ He didn’t get his application in early enough so he missed the boat.

▷ let something slip through your fingers /let something ˌslɪp θruː jɔːʳ ˈfɪŋgəʳz/ [verb phrase]

to not use a good opportunity when you are able to, especially an opportunity that you will not get again :

▪ We had an opportunity to win the championship last season and we let it slip through our fingers.

▷ lost opportunity /ˌlɒst ɒpəˈtjuːnə̇tiǁˌlɔːst ɑːpərˈtuː-/ [noun phrase]

an opportunity that you wasted by not using it to become successful, enjoy yourself etc :

▪ If you don’t take the job it’ll just be another lost opportunity in your life.

Longman Activator English vocab.      Английский словарь Longman активатор .