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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.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000


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]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
England have an even chance, particularly now that Wayne Rooney is available again.
Key said he thought there was an even chance the project would stay in New Zealand, but he cautioned that he would not be offering more tax breaks to ensure that was the case.
"It is therefore very important that Welsh businesses are given an even chance to win contracts competitively and that they have the opportunity to deliver what we need."
Or at the very least a random generation of the fixtures that would give them an even chance? Engineering the fixture to avoid that?
These are the clubs where we've got an even chance against, or just slightly under an even chance.
Students with these scores have a high probability (75%) of earning a "C" or better and an even chance of earning a "B" or better in college algebra and biology classes, respectively.
Britain may face an even chance of sliding into an outright recession as the Bank of England holds interest rates "higher for longer" to slay the dragon.
But he is now back in training and reckoned to be an even chance of being in the picture for Saturday.
When a SAN is installed, there is an even chance that the administrator's starting password is "password." Now if someone on the inside gets past the firewall and discovers a switch: they might try the word "password" first, then the name of the OEM second (probabilities give a better than average opportunity to the unauthorized user).
``This way they are all getting an even chance - as well as having a very good haircut, of course!''