Meaning of CHANCE in English


n., adj., & v.


1. a a possibility (just a chance we will catch the train). b (often in pl.) probability (the chances are against it).

2 a risk (have to take a chance).

3 a an undesigned occurrence (just a chance that they met). b the absence of design or discoverable cause (here merely because of chance).

4 an opportunity (didn't have a chance to speak to him).

5 the way things happen; fortune; luck (we'll just leave it to chance).

6 (often Chance) the course of events regarded as a power; fate (blind Chance rules the universe).

7 Cricket an opportunity for dismissing a batsman.

--adj. fortuitous, accidental (a chance meeting).


1. tr. colloq. risk (we'll chance it and go).

2 intr. (often foll. by that + clause, or to + infin.) happen without intention (it chanced that I found it; I chanced to find it).

Phrases and idioms:

by any chance as it happens; perhaps. by chance without design; unintentionally. chance one's arm make an attempt though unlikely to succeed. chance on (or upon) happen to find, meet, etc. game of chance a game decided by luck, not skill. the off chance the slight possibility. on the chance (often foll. by of, or that + clause) in view of the possibility. stand a chance have a prospect of success etc. take a chance (or chances) behave riskily; risk failure. take a (or one's) chance on (or with) consent to take the consequences of; trust to luck.

Etymology: ME f. AF ch(e)aunce, OF ch{euml}ance ch{euml}oir fall ult. f. L cadere

Oxford English vocab.      Оксфордский английский словарь.