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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 ?
Dumas: That's so Chancy won't wallop this bookish Negro.
It might not be obvious that the two operational links involving probability are consistent with all chancy outcomes occurring.
But the owner was here to see Chancy Charly run and wanted this one to run as well.
Inch Rose scambled home over course and distance on the final day of last year while Norman Williamson has jumped off Chancy Charly to partner Moondigua.
Though Criqui concedes that a physician might be able to determine when advocating alcohol "might be valuable," he argues that before people with diabetes try anything "as chancy as alcohol," they should avail themselves of "new therapies that are less risky.
Michel Chancy, Director General, 178 Rue Alerte, Port au Prince, Haiti.
work, Beatrice Chancy (Polestar), will be released this spring.
Chancy brings in Haitian literature through Chauvet's trilogy in French, Amour, colire, folie (1976), which attacks the sadism and violence of the Vincent and Duvalier regimes.
He would rejoice in his own fate, chancy and absurd as it was, the buffoonery of a blindfolded child spun about in the world, N, E, S, W.
He takes a chancy shot from nearly 4 meters (12 feet) away.
We are proud to recognize this year's recipients for their remarkable success in the direct marketing community as well as their support of DMEF industry education," said David Chancy, DMEF executive director.
Maza will, report to Mark Chancy, Wholesale Banking executive.