chance

(redirected from chanced upon)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.
Related to chanced upon: To catch up

chance,

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.
..... Click the link for more information.
.

chance

  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.

Chance

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]
Fortuna
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]
Sors
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 classic literature ?
At rare intervals they chanced upon the trail of a snowshoe rabbit or an ermine; but in the main it seemed that all life had fled the land.
As I was about to lay the thing aside as of no value in my present predicament my eyes chanced upon a few strange characters roughly and freshly scratched upon the soft gold of the case.
But even as he brooded sadly over it and pined for the sweet peace of the Abbey, he came on an open space dotted with holly bushes, where was the strangest sight that he had yet chanced upon.
He chanced upon a volume of Swinburne and began reading steadily, forgetful of where he was, his face glowing.
It was after my marriage that I chanced upon Bishop Morehouse.
Billy joined sulkily, then brightened up as his eyes chanced upon the coffee pot, which he immediately put on to boil.
Came the day, very early in their walking out, when Silverstein chanced upon Joe in his store and stared at him with saucer-eyes.
When Tarzan first put it into the written language of his own people he had not yet chanced upon either WHITE or SKIN in the dictionary; but in a primer he had seen the picture of a little white boy and so he wrote his name BUMUDE-MUTOMURO, or he-boy.
Another time they chanced upon the time-graven wreckage of a hunting lodge, and amid the shreds of rotted blankets John Thornton found a long-barrelled flint-lock.
It was when I was wandering about yesterday, rather delirious, I chanced upon a man who had been run over .
Luckily, I soon chanced upon a set of Pushkin, handsomely bound, and set myself to bargain for it.
Margaret Henan would have been a striking figure under any circumstances, but never more so than when I first chanced upon her, a sack of grain of fully a hundredweight on her shoulder, as she walked with sure though tottering stride from the cart-tail to the stable, pausing for an instant to gather strength at the foot of the steep steps that led to the grain-bin.