**Chance** (?), n. [F. *chance*, OF. *cheance*, fr. LL. *cadentia* a allusion to the falling of the dice), fr. L. *cadere* to fall; akin to Skr. *ssad* 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 personifed.

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.*

Any society into which **chance** might throw him.
*Macaulay.*

That power
Which erring men call **Chance**.
*Milton.*

**2.**

The operation or activity of such agent.

By chance a priest came down that way.
*Luke x. 31.*

**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.

It was a **chance** that happened to us.
*1 Sam. vi. 9.*

The Knave of Diamonds tries his wily arts,
And wins (O shameful **chance**!) the Queen of Hearts.
*Pope.*

I spake of most disastrous **chance**.
*Shak.*

**4.**

A possibity; a likelihood; an opportunity; -- with reference to a doubtful result; as, a **chance** result; as, a **chance** to escape; a **chance** for life; the **chances** are all against him.

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.*

**5.** Math.

Probability.

⇒ 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).

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.

© Webster 1913.

**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).*

If a bird's nest **chance** to be before thee.
*Deut. xxii. 6.*

I **chanced** on this letter.
*Shak.*

Often used impersonally; as, how *chances* it?

How **chance**, thou art returned so soon?
*Shak.*

© Webster 1913.

**Chance**, v. t.

**1.**

To take the chances of; to venture upon; -- usually with *it* as object.

Come what will, I will **chance** it.
*W. D. Howells.*

**2.**

To befall; to happen to.

[Obs.]

*W. Lambarde.*

© Webster 1913.

**Chance**, a.

Happening by chance; casual.

© Webster 1913.

**Chance**, adv.

By chance; perchance.

*Gray.*

© Webster 1913.