Thomas Arthur Schaefer
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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

CHANCE

chance | ch ans| noun 1 a possibility of something happening : a chance of victory | there is little chance of his finding a job. • ( chances) the probability of something happening : he played down his chances of becoming chairman. • [in sing. ] an opportunity to do or achieve something : I gave her a chance to answer. • a ticket in a raffle or lottery. • Baseball an opportunity to make a defensive play, which if missed counts as an error : 541 straight chances without an error. 2 the occurrence and development of events in the absence of any obvious design : he met his brother by chance | what a lucky chance that you are here. • the unplanned and unpredictable course of events regarded as a power : chance was offering me success. adjective fortuitous; accidental : a chance meeting. verb 1 [ intrans. ] do something by accident or without design : if they chanced to meet. See note at happen . • ( chance upon/on) find or see by accident : he chanced upon an interesting advertisement. 2 [ trans. ] informal do (something) despite its being dangerous or of uncertain outcome : she waited a few seconds and chanced another look. PHRASES by any chance possibly (used in tentative inquiries or suggestions) : were you looking for me by any chance? no chance informal there is no possibility of that : I asked if we could leave early and she said, “No chance.” on the ( off) chance just in case : Joan phoned at noon on the off chance that he’d be home. stand a chance [usu. with negative ] have a prospect of success or survival : his rivals don't stand a chance. take a chance (or chances) behave in a way that leaves one vulnerable to danger or failure. • ( take a chance on) put one's trust in (something or someone) knowing that it may not be safe or certain. take one's chances do something risky with the hope of success. ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French cheance, from cheoir ‘fall, befall,’ based on Latin cadere.

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