—n. 1. the absence of any cause of events that can be predicted, understood, or controlled: often personified or treated as a positive agency: Chance governs all. 2. luck or fortune: a game of chance. 3. a possibility or probability of anything happening: a fifty-percent chance of success. 4. an opportune or favorable time; opportunity: Now is your chance. 5. Baseball.an opportunity to field the ball and make a put-out or assist.
6. a risk or hazard: Take a chance. 7. a share or ticket in a lottery or prize drawing: The charity is selling chances for a dollar each. 8. chances,probability: The chances are that the train hasn't left yet. 9. Midland and Southern U.S.a quantity or number (usually fol. by of).
10. Archaic.an unfortunate event; mishap.
11. by chance, without plan or intent; accidentally: I met her again by chance in a department store in Paris. 12. on the chance, in the mild hope or against the possibility: I'll wait on the chance that she'll come. 13. on the off chance, in the very slight hope or against the very slight possibility.
—v.i. to happen or occur by chance: It chanced that our arrivals coincided.
—v.t. 1. to take the chances or risks of; risk (often fol. by impersonal it): I'll have to chance it, whatever the outcome. 2. chance on or upon, to come upon by chance; meet unexpectedly: She chanced on a rare kind of mushroom during her walk through the woods.
—adj. not planned or expected; accidental: a chance occurrence.