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in mathematics: see probabilityprobability,
in mathematics, assignment of a number as a measure of the "chance" that a given event will occur. There are certain important restrictions on such a probability measure.
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  1. the PROBABILITYof an event, such as the occurrence of heads or tails on the toss of a coin.
  2. social or physical outcomes which are unforseen and perhaps inherently unpredictable.
Chance arises from the existence of physical or social processes which involve random events, a multiplicity of interacting variables in ‘open systems’ (including the changeability of actors' choices), and because actors’ intentions often have UNANTICIPATED CONSEQUENCES. While an inherent CONTINGENCY in social events is seen by some theorists as ruling out general theories, this neglects the availability of generalized ‘probabilistic’ accounts and the fact that it is the goal of general theories to abstract from particular events (and provide EXPLANATION or analytical frameworks), not necessarily to predict or control events.

Coping with chance in social life is a source of MAGIC and RELIGION and the basis of important leisure forms, including games of chance and GAMBLING. See also RISK SOCIETY.


See also Fate.
Charity (See GENEROSITY.)
Bridoison, Taiel de
judge who casts dice to decide cases. [Fr. Lit.: Pantagruel]
Fata Morgana
lake-dwelling sorceress and personification of chance. [Ital. Lit.: Orlando Innamorato]
goddess of chance. [Rom. Myth.: Kravitz, 58]
Jimmy the Greek
renowned American oddsmaker. [Am. Culture: Wallechinsky, 468]
Russian roulette
suicidal gamble involving a six-shooter, loaded with one bullet. [Folklore: Payton, 590]
god of chance. [Rom. Myth.: Espy, 42–43]
Three Princes of Serendip
always make discoveries by accident. [Br. Lit.: Three Princes of Serendip]
Urim and Thummin
oracular gems used for casting lots, set in Aaron’s breastplate. [O.T.: Exodus 28:30; Leviticus 8:8]
References in periodicals archive ?
The judge, Recorder Peter Wright QC, said: "You happened to chance across a young man built of sterner stuff.
Reaching an island, they chance across a fugitive called Mud (Matthew McConaughey).
Jon Shaw flashed a good chance across goal and out for a throw-in at the start of the second half, but it was from that throw that Luton notched what turned out to be the winner.
County enjoyed the better of the second half but sub Andrew Barrowman swept a late chance across the face of goal.
Howard drove a good chance across the face of goal on 44 minutes and Ian Goodison did well to block a goal-bound shot from Fryatt at the end of a rapid counter-attack.
Just 24 hours on from Henry the navigator's success in the 2000 Guineas and team Ballydoyle bagged another significant event as Seamus Heffernan drove the 13-2 chance across the line a head to the good.
Just 24 hours on from Henrythenavigator's success in the 2000 Guineas and teamBallydoyle bagged another significant event as Seamus Heffernan drove the 13-2 chance across the line a head to the good.
Gary Hamilton is another well able to get a chance across the water, and there's another couple of young lads with Coleraine.
Belfast libel laws require a lesser burden of proof, so many cases that would never see the light of day Stateside have a chance across the Atlantic.
Its small apparent size means that you're unlikely to chance across it while casually sweeping the area.
Juan Pablo Angel experienced something of an off day and nodded a decent chance across the goalmouth from Hendrie's early cross before Hendrie doubled Villa's advantage with a superb far post volley from Hassan Kachloul's hanging cross.
As they cyber-commute to work on their 500 gig modem, they might chance across a nostalgic spot on the web devoted to antique sports.