chance


chance
chance n
1 Chance, accident, fortune, luck, hap, hazard denote something that happens without an apparent or determinable cause or as a result of unpredictable forces.
Chance serves often as a general term for the incalculable and fortuitous element in human existence and in nature and is usually opposed to law (see PRINCIPLE)
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it is incorrect to say that any phenomenon is produced by chance; but we may say that two or more phenomena are conjoined by chance . . . meaning that they are in no way related by causation—J. 5. Mill

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Chance often retains implications derived from its early association with the casting of dice or lots and the selection of one out of many possibilities by this means; consequently it may mean determination by irrational, uncontrollable forces
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leave things to chance

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or it may mean degree of probability
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his chance of success is one in ten

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or it may mean one possibility of success among many possibilities of failure
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he is always willing to take a chance

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Accident is interchangeable with chance only when a particular event or situation is in mind
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it happened by accident (or by chance)

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It differs from chance mainly in its emphasis on lack of intention
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buildings are not grouped like that by pure accidentCather

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meeting by accident, we hovered by design— Emily Dickinson

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Fortune, owing to its historical connection with the ancient Roman goddess of chance, Fortuna, often designates the hypothetical cause of what happens fortuitously
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fortune favored him in his first attempt

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It also often suggests qualities ascribed to the goddess (as variability, fickleness, and malignity)
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I may conquer fortune's spite by living low, where fortune cannot hurt me— Shak.

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Vicissitudes of fortuneGibbon

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Fortune is also applied to the issue or outcome of an undertaking the success of which is problematical
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the fortunes of war

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the country virtually drops everything ... to follow the fortunes of the two teams engaged in the World Series— Harold Rosenthal

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Luck differs from fortune chiefly in its connotations. It not only lacks the dignity accruing to fortune through the latter's mythological associations, but it is somewhat colored by its association with gambling. It is preferable in contexts where fortune would seem bookish
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bad luck followed him all his days

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it was just our luck to miss that train

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the fisherman had good luck today

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Luck unqualified can, however, imply success or a happy outcome, as fortune unqualified rarely does
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I wish you luck

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he had luck in all his adventures

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with luck and the help of atomic research our children may be safe from this grim disease—/!. E. Stevenson

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Hap is rather neutral and commonly denotes what falls or, more often, has already fallen to one's lot
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lives that had known both good and evil hap

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by some bad tide or hap ... the ill-made catamaran was overset— Melville

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Hazard, which basically denotes a game of dice in which the chances are complicated by arbitrary rules, is often used in place of accident, especially when there is the traceable but not predictable influence of existing conditions or of concomitant circumstances
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men and women danced together, women danced together, men danced together, as hazard had brought them together— Dickens

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the choice [of examples] has been determined more by the hazards of my recent reading than by anything else— Huxle

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Analogous words: contingency, emergency, pass, *juncture, exigency
Antonyms: law (see PRINCIPLE)
Contrasted words: inevitableness or inevitability, necessariness or necessity, certainty (see corresponding adjectives at CERTAIN)
2 *opportunity, occasion, break, time
Analogous words: possibility, likelihood, probability (see corresponding adjectives at PROBABLE): *prospect, outlook, foretaste, anticipation
chance vb 1 *happen, befall, betide, occur, transpire
2 *venture, hazard, risk, jeopardize, endanger, imperil
Analogous words: dare, beard, *face: *meet, encounter, confront

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • chance — [ ʃɑ̃s ] n. f. • XIIe chaance « manière dont tombent les dés »; lat. pop. cadentia, de cadere « tomber » → choir 1 ♦ (XIIIe) Manière favorable ou défavorable selon laquelle un événement se produit (⇒ aléa, hasard); puissance qui préside au succès …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Chance — may refer to: Contents 1 Philosophy, logic and theology 2 Places 3 Music …   Wikipedia

  • chance — CHANCE. s. f. Sorte de jeu à deux ou trois à dez. Ils joüent à la chance. joüer à la chance. je luy ay livré chance. ramener sa chance. Il se prend aussi pour le point qu on livre à celuy contre lequel on jouë, & pour celuy qu on se livre à soy… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • chance — [chans, chäns] n. [ME chaunce < OFr cheance < VL cadentia, that which falls out < L cadens, prp. of cadere, to fall: see CASE1] 1. the happening of events without apparent cause, or the apparent absence of cause or design; fortuity; luck …   English World dictionary

  • Chance! — Single par Tsukishima Kirari starring Kusumi Koharu (Morning Musume) extrait de l’album Kirarin Land Face A Chance! Face B Ramutara Sortie 7 novembre 2007 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • chance — CHANCE. s. f. Sorte de jeu de dés. Jouer à la chance. f♛/b] Il se prend aussi pour Le point qu ou livre à celui contre lequel on joue aux dés, et pour Celui qu on se livre à soi même. Livrer chance. Amener sa chance. [b]f♛/b] On dit figurément,… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • Chancé — Kantieg …   Wikipedia

  • chance — ► NOUN 1) a possibility of something happening. 2) (chances) the probability of something happening. 3) an opportunity. 4) the occurrence of events in the absence of any obvious design. ► VERB 1) do something by accident …   English terms dictionary

  • chance — I (fortuity) noun advantage, befalling, casus, circumstance, event, favorable time, fortuitousness, good fortune, happening, occasion, opening, suitable circumstance, time associated concepts: arise by chance, last clear chance II (possibility) …   Law dictionary


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