chance

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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.
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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.
Then he chanced upon Kipling's poems, and was swept away by the lilt and swing and glamour with which familiar things had been invested.
Sometimes they chanced upon other wolves, usually in pairs; but there was no friendliness of intercourse displayed on either side, no gladness at meeting, no desire to return to the pack-formation.
We made great havoc in Touraine, until we came into Romorantin, where I chanced upon a gold chain and two bracelets of jasper, which were stolen from me the same day by a black-eyed wench from the Ardennes.
Nevertheless -- to hold nothing back from the reader -- it was because, on the third day from the present, he was to preach the Election Sermon; and, as such an occasion formed an honourable epoch in the life of a New England Clergyman, he could not have chanced upon a more suitable mode and time of terminating his professional career.
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.
Members of the Police Community Precinct 7 were on routine patrol when they chanced upon Nicanor armed with a fan knife.
Caramat said the suspect fought from a safehouse in Barangay (village) Nabaong Garlang when a joint police and military surveillance team chanced upon him.
Recently, and surprisingly, I chanced upon a bar selling what at one time was a delicious brew called Exhibition, but it too was like drinking a pint of cold water.
Cyber Crime Police while verifying the online commercials had chanced upon the website www.
READING Saturday's Echo I chanced upon a feature about assembly member Neil McEvoy crossing his fingers while pledging his allegiance to our monarch.
I WAS overseas in Africa, 'Twas very dark and dank, When I chanced upon this witch doctor Who said his name was Frank.