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 4. 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 <chances are he's already gone> 5. a. risk <not taking any chances> b. a raffle ticket • chance adjective II. verb (chanced; chancing) Date: 14th century intransitive verb 1. 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>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.