Meaning of CHANCE in English


I. ˈchan(t)s noun

Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin * cadentia fall, from Latin cadent-, cadens, present participle of cadere to fall; perhaps akin to Sanskrit śad- to fall off

Date: 14th century


a. : something that happens unpredictably without discernible human intention or observable cause

b. : the assumed impersonal purposeless determiner of unaccountable happenings : luck

an outcome decided by chance

c. : the fortuitous or incalculable element in existence : contingency

2. : a situation favoring some purpose : opportunity

needed a chance to relax

3. : a fielding opportunity in baseball


a. : the possibility of a particular outcome in an uncertain situation ; also : the degree of likelihood of such an outcome

a small chance of success

b. plural : the more likely indications

chance s are he's already gone


a. : risk

not taking any chance s

b. : a raffle ticket

• chance adjective

- by chance

II. verb

( chanced ; chanc·ing )

Date: 14th century

intransitive verb


a. : to take place, come about, or turn out by chance : happen

it chanced to rain that day

b. : to have the good or bad luck

we chanced to meet

2. : to come or light by chance

they chanced upon a remote inn

transitive verb

1. : to leave the outcome of to chance

2. : to accept the hazard of : risk

knew the trip was dangerous but decided to chance it

- chance one's arm

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.