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Wordnet 3.0

NOUN (5)

1. a possibility due to a favorable combination of circumstances;
- Example: "the holiday gave us the opportunity to visit Washington"
- Example: "now is your chance"
[syn: opportunity, chance]

2. an unknown and unpredictable phenomenon that causes an event to result one way rather than another;
- Example: "bad luck caused his downfall"
- Example: "we ran into each other by pure chance"
[syn: luck, fortune, chance, hazard]

3. a risk involving danger;
- Example: "you take a chance when you let her drive"

4. a measure of how likely it is that some event will occur; a number expressing the ratio of favorable cases to the whole number of cases possible;
- Example: "the probability that an unbiased coin will fall with the head up is 0.5"
[syn: probability, chance]

5. the possibility of future success;
- Example: "his prospects as a writer are excellent"
[syn: prospect, chance]


VERB (3)

1. be the case by chance;
- Example: "I chanced to meet my old friend in the street"

2. take a risk in the hope of a favorable outcome;
- Example: "When you buy these stocks you are gambling"
[syn: gamble, chance, risk, hazard, take chances, adventure, run a risk, take a chance]

3. come upon, as if by accident; meet with;
- Example: "We find this idea in Plato"
- Example: "I happened upon the most wonderful bakery not very far from here"
- Example: "She chanced upon an interesting book in the bookstore the other day"
[syn: find, happen, chance, bump, encounter]


ADJECTIVE (1)

1. occurring or appearing or singled out by chance;
- Example: "seek help from casual passers-by"
- Example: "a casual meeting"
- Example: "a chance occurrence"
[syn: casual, chance(a)]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Chance \Chance\ (ch[.a]ns), n. [F. chance, OF. cheance, fr. LL. cadentia a allusion to the falling of the dice), fr. L. cadere to fall; akin to Skr. [,c]ad to fall, L. cedere to yield, E. cede. Cf. Cadence.] 1. A supposed material or psychical agent or mode of activity other than a force, law, or purpose; fortune; fate; -- in this sense often personified. [1913 Webster] It is strictly and philosophically true in nature and reason that there is no such thing as chance or accident; it being evident that these words do not signify anything really existing, anything that is truly an agent or the cause of any event; but they signify merely men's ignorance of the real and immediate cause. --Samuel Clark. [1913 Webster] Note: Many of the everyday events which people observe and attribute to chance fall into the category described by Clark, as being in practice too complex for people to easily predict, but in theory predictable if one were to know the actions of the causal agents in great detail. At the subatomic level, however, there is much evidence to support the notion derived from Heisenberg's uncertaintly principle, that phenomena occur in nature which are truly randomly determined, not merely too complex to predict or observe accurately. Such phenomena, however, are observed only with one or a very small number of subatomic particles. When the probabilities of observed events are determined by the behavior of aggregates of millions of particles, the variations due to such quantum indeterminacy becomes so small as to be unobservable even over billions of repetitions, and may therefore be ignored in practical situations; such variations are so improbable that it would be irrational to condition anything of consequence upon the occurrence of such an improbable event. A clever experimenter, nevertheless, may contrive a system where a very visible event (such as the dynamiting of a building) depends on the occurrence of a truly chance subatomic event (such as the disintegration of a single radioactive nucleus). In such a contrived situation, one may accurately speak of an event determined by chance, in the sense of a random occurrence completely unpredictable, at least as to time. [PJC] Any society into which chance might throw him. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster] That power Which erring men call Chance. --Milton. [1913 Webster] 2. The operation or activity of such agent. [1913 Webster] By chance a priest came down that way. --Luke x. 31. [1913 Webster] 3. The supposed effect of such an agent; something that befalls, as the result of unknown or unconsidered forces; the issue of uncertain conditions; an event not calculated upon; an unexpected occurrence; a happening; accident; fortuity; casualty. [1913 Webster] In the field of observation, chance favors only the mind that is prepared. --Louis Pasteur. [PJC] Note: This quotation is usually found in the form "Chance favors the prepared mind." It is a common rejoinder to the assertion that a scientist was "lucky" to have made some particular discovery because of unanticipated factors. A related quotation, from the Nobel-Prize-winning chemist R. B. Woodward, is that "A scientist has to work wery hard to get to the point where he can be lucky." [PJC] It was a chance that happened to us. --1 Sam. vi. 9. [1913 Webster] The Knave of Diamonds tries his wily arts, And wins (O shameful chance!) the Queen of Hearts. --Pope. [1913 Webster] I spake of most disastrous chance. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 4. A possibility; a likelihood; an opportunity; -- with reference to a doubtful result; as, a chance to escape; a chance for life; the chances are all against him. [1913 Webster] So weary with disasters, tugged with fortune. That I would get my life on any chance, To mend it, or be rid on 't --Shak. [1913 Webster] 5. (Math.) Probability. [1913 Webster] Note: The mathematical expression, of a chance is the ratio of frequency with which an event happens in the long run. If an event may happen in a ways and may fail in b ways, and each of these a + b ways is equally likely, the chance, or probability, that the event will happen is measured by the fraction a/a + b, and the chance, or probability, that it will fail is measured by b/a + b. [1913 Webster] Chance comer, one who comes unexpectedly. The last chance, the sole remaining ground of hope. The main chance, the chief opportunity; that upon which reliance is had, esp. self-interest. Theory of chances, Doctrine of chances (Math.), that branch of mathematics which treats of the probability of the occurrence of particular events, as the fall of dice in given positions. To mind one's chances, to take advantage of every circumstance; to seize every opportunity. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Chance \Chance\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Chanced; p. pr. & vb. n. Chancing.] To happen, come, or arrive, without design or expectation. "Things that chance daily." --Robynson (More's Utopia). [1913 Webster] If a bird's nest chance to be before thee. --Deut. xxii. 6. [1913 Webster] I chanced on this letter. --Shak. [1913 Webster] Note: Often used impersonally; as, how chances it? [1913 Webster] How chance, thou art returned so soon? --Shak. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Chance \Chance\, v. t. 1. To take the chances of; to venture upon; -- usually with it as object. [1913 Webster] Come what will, I will chance it. --W. D. Howells. [1913 Webster] 2. To befall; to happen to. [Obs.] --W. Lambarde. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Chance \Chance\, a. Happening by chance; casual. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Chance \Chance\, adv. By chance; perchance. --Gray. [1913 Webster]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

chance adj 1: occurring or appearing or singled out by chance; "seek help from casual passers-by"; "a casual meeting"; "a chance occurrence" [syn: casual, chance(a)] n 1: a possibility due to a favorable combination of circumstances; "the holiday gave us the opportunity to visit Washington"; "now is your chance" [syn: opportunity, chance] 2: an unknown and unpredictable phenomenon that causes an event to result one way rather than another; "bad luck caused his downfall"; "we ran into each other by pure chance" [syn: luck, fortune, chance, hazard] 3: a risk involving danger; "you take a chance when you let her drive" 4: a measure of how likely it is that some event will occur; a number expressing the ratio of favorable cases to the whole number of cases possible; "the probability that an unbiased coin will fall with the head up is 0.5" [syn: probability, chance] 5: the possibility of future success; "his prospects as a writer are excellent" [syn: prospect, chance] v 1: be the case by chance; "I chanced to meet my old friend in the street" 2: take a risk in the hope of a favorable outcome; "When you buy these stocks you are gambling" [syn: gamble, chance, risk, hazard, take chances, adventure, run a risk, take a chance] 3: come upon, as if by accident; meet with; "We find this idea in Plato"; "I happened upon the most wonderful bakery not very far from here"; "She chanced upon an interesting book in the bookstore the other day" [syn: find, happen, chance, bump, encounter]
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:

302 Moby Thesaurus words for "chance": a leg up, accidental, accidentally, advantage, adventitious, adventure, aleatoric, aleatory, amorphous, appear, approach, aptitude, aptness, arise, assay, attempt, bare possibility, bechance, befall, bet, betide, blind bargain, blobby, blurred, blurry, borderline case, bout, brave, break, broad, bump, by chance, calculated risk, capriciousness, careless, casual, causeless, certainty, chance it, chances, chanciness, chancy, changeableness, chaotic, clear stage, come, come about, come along, come forth, come into being, come into existence, come on, come to pass, conceivability, conceivableness, conceivably, confused, contingency, contingent, court destruction, crop up, dare, defy danger, destinal, dicey, disordered, double contingency, draw on, endanger, engage, erraticism, erraticness, essay, even chance, eventuality, expectation, face up to, fair expectation, fair field, fair game, fall out, fatal, fate, fatidic, favorable prospect, fickleness, flier, fluke, fluky, foggy, forget the odds, fortuitous, fortuity, fortune, fuzzy, gamble, gamble on, general, go, good chance, good possibility, guess, hap, happen, happen along, happen by chance, hazard, hazy, heedless, hesitancy, hesitation, hit, hit-or-miss, hope, iffy, ill-defined, imperil, imprecise, inaccurate, inadvertent, inadvertently, incalculability, incertitude, inchoate, incidental, incoherent, indecision, indecisive, indecisiveness, indefinable, indefinite, indemonstrability, indeterminable, indeterminacy, indeterminate, indetermination, indeterminism, indistinct, inexact, inning, innings, irresolution, jeopardize, lax, liability, liableness, liberty, lift a finger, light, likelihood, likeliness, look-in, loose, lot, luck, make an attempt, make an effort, materialize, maybe, meet, nonspecific, obligation, obscure, occasion, occur, odd, odds, off chance, offer, open question, opening, opportunism, opportunity, orderless, outlook, outside chance, outside hope, perhaps, piece of guesswork, place, play, play with fire, plunge, pop up, possibility, possibleness, possibly, potential, potentiality, predictability, present itself, presumption, presumptive evidence, probabilism, probability, proneness, prospect, question, random, randomness, reasonable ground, reasonable hope, relief, rely on fortune, remote possibility, risk, risky, room, round, run a chance, run the chance, run the risk, say, scope, set at hazard, shadowed forth, shadowy, shapeless, shot, show, show up, sight-unseen transaction, small hope, speculation, spell, spring up, squeak, stake, stepping-stone, stochastic, stumble, suspense, suspensefulness, sweeping, take a chance, take a flier, take chances, take place, tempt Providence, tempt fortune, tendency, the attainable, the feasible, the possible, thinkability, thinkableness, time, time at bat, toss-up, touch and go, transpire, trust to chance, try, try the chance, tumble, turn, turn up, unaccountability, uncaused, uncertainness, uncertainty, uncertainty principle, unclear, undecided issue, undecidedness, undefined, undertake, undestined, undetermined, undeterminedness, unexpected, unforeseeable, unforeseeableness, unforeseen, unintentional, unintentionally, unlooked-for, unplain, unplanned, unpredictability, unpredictable, unpremeditated, unprovability, unspecified, unsureness, unverifiability, vacillation, vague, veiled, venture, venture on, venture upon, verisimilitude, virtuality, wager, weakness, well-grounded hope, whack, what is possible, what may be, what might be, whimsicality
Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary:

Chance (Luke 10:31). "It was not by chance that the priest came down by that road at that time, but by a specific arrangement and in exact fulfilment of a plan; not the plan of the priest, nor the plan of the wounded traveller, but the plan of God. By coincidence (Gr. sungkuria) the priest came down, that is, by the conjunction of two things, in fact, which were previously constituted a pair in the providence of God. In the result they fell together according to the omniscient Designer's plan. This is the true theory of the divine government." Compare the meeting of Philip with the Ethiopian (Acts 8:26, 27). There is no "chance" in God's empire. "Chance" is only another word for our want of knowledge as to the way in which one event falls in with another (1 Sam. 6:9; Eccl. 9:11).
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

CHANCE, accident. As the law punishes a crime only when there is an intention to commit it, it follows that when those acts are done in a lawful business or pursuit by mere chance or accident, which would have been criminal if there had been an intention, express or implied, to commit them, there is no crime. For example, if workmen were employed in blasting rocks in a retired field, and a person not knowing of the circumstance should enter the field, and be killed by a piece of the rock, there would be no guilt in the workmen. 1 East, P. C. 262 Poster, 262; 1 Hale's P. C. 472; 4 Bl. Com. 192. Vide Accident.
U.S. Gazetteer Places (2000):

Chance, MD -- U.S. Census Designated Place in Maryland Population (2000): 377 Housing Units (2000): 254 Land area (2000): 1.728426 sq. miles (4.476603 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.839181 sq. miles (2.173468 sq. km) Total area (2000): 2.567607 sq. miles (6.650071 sq. km) FIPS code: 15075 Located within: Maryland (MD), FIPS 24 Location: 38.176818 N, 75.939272 W ZIP Codes (1990): 21816 Note: some ZIP codes may be omitted esp. for suburbs. Headwords: Chance, MD Chance