previous next
Chance, subst., 1) fortune, be it good or ill: “every fair from fair sometime declines, by c. or nature's changing course untrimmed,” Sonn. 18, 8. “they say there is divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, c., or death,” Wiv. V, 1, 4. “made a push at c. and sufferance,” Ado V, 1, 38. “he never did fall off, but by the c. of war,” H4A I, 3, 95. “now good or bad, 'tis but the c. of war,” H4A I, 3, 95. “in the reproof of c. lies the true proof of men,” Troil. I, 3, 33. “injury of c. puts back leave-taking,” IV, 4, 35. “common --s common men could bear,” Cor. IV, 1, 5. “woe to her c.” Tit. IV, 2, 78. “if c. will have me king, why, c. may crown me, without my stir,” Mcb. I, 3, 143. “the shot of accident, nor dart of c.” Oth. IV, 1, 278. “what injuries you did us, we shall remember as things but done by c.” Ant. V, 2, 120. “I shall show the cinders of my spirits through the ashes of my c.,” Ant. V, 2, 120 “I'll yet follow the wounded c. of Antony,” III, 10, 36. -- Used in the sense of good luck: “if it be thy c. to kill me,” Tw. III, 4, 177. “and, now it is my c. to find thee out, must I behold thy death?” H6A V, 4, 4. “if I might in entreaties find success, as seld I have the c.” Troil. IV, 5, 150. to fail in the disposing of those --s which “he was lord of,” Cor. IV, 7, 40. “thy dowerless daughter, thrown to my c.” Lr. I, 1, 259. “she lives! if it be so, it is a c. which doth redeem all sorrows,” V, 3, 266. “my better cunning faints under his c.” Ant. II, 3, 35 (== good luck at play; cf. Wiv. V, 1, 4). “this was strange c.: a narrow lane, an old man, and two boys,” Cymb. V, 3, 51.
2) eventuality, possibility of good or bad success: “you must take your c.” Merch. II, 1, 38. “take you my land, I'll take my c.” John I, 151. “come on, and take the c. of anger,” Lr. III, 7, 79. “wilt take thy c. with me?” Cymb. IV, 2, 382. “bring me unto my c.” Merch. II, 1, 43. “to comfort you with c., assure yourself . . .,” Tw. I, 2, 8. “summed the account of c.” H4B I, 1, 167. “I would set my life on any c., to mend it or be rid on't,” Mcb. III, 1, 113. “and the c. of goodness be like our warranted quarrel,” IV, 3, 136. “think what a c. thou changest on,” Cymb. I, 5, 68. “so am I that have this golden c. and know not why,” V, 4, 132. -- Main chance == principal eventuality, the probable course of things: “the which observed, a man may prophesy of the main c. of things as yet not come to life,” H4B III, 1, 83. “main c. you meant, but I meant Maine,” H6B I, 1, 212.
3) accident: “both stood like old acquaintance in a trance, met far from home, wondering each other's c.” Lucr. 1596 (i. e. wondering at the accident which brought them to see each other). “not of this country, though my c. is now to use it for my time,” Meas. III, 2, 230. “where c. may nurse or end it,” Wint. II, 3, 183. “to be the slaves of c.” IV, 4, 551. “how --'s mocks and changes fill the cup of alteration,” H4B III, 1, 51 (M. Edd. how chances mock). “an act that very c. doth throw upon him,” Troil. III, 3, 131. “a wild exposture to each c.” Cor. IV, 1, 36. “by some c. shall grow dear friends,” IV, 4, 20. “secure from worldly --s and mishaps,” Tit. I, 152. By c. == by accident: “but by c. nothing of what is writ,” Meas. IV, 2, 218. “since you are strangers and come here by c.” LLL V, 2, 218. LLL V, 2, 218 Shr. I, 2, 182. Wint. IV, 4, 733. John III, 4, 63. R2 I, 4, 8. Troil. IV, 2, 73. Cor. V, 3, 180. Hml. IV, 7, 162. A quibble perhaps intended in John I, 169: by c. but not by truth (== by good luck, but not by honesty).
4) event: “may any terms acquit me from this c.” Lucr. 1706. “against ill --s men are ever merry,” H4B IV, 2, 81. “what c. is this that suddenly hath cross'd us?” H6A I, 4, 72. “how will the country for these woeful --s misthink the king?” H6C II, 5, 107. “what an unkind hour is guilty of this lamentable c.?” Rom. V, 3, 146. “had I but died an hour before this c.,” Mcb. II, 3, 96. “you that look pale and tremble at this c.” Hml. V, 2, 345. “I spake of most disastrous --s,” Oth. I, 3, 134. “we grieve at --s here,” Cymb. IV, 3, 35. “from c. to c.” V, 5, 391.
hide Dictionary Entry Lookup
Use this tool to search for dictionary entries in all lexica.
Search for in
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: