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chance vb. (now generally superseded by ‘happen’; the foll. are idiomatic uses, in which the word assumes the character of an adv.)
1. “may chance” with an infinitive=may possibly Ado II. iii. 255 [244], 2H4 II. i. 13, Troil. I. i. 28 “you may chance burn your lips” (Ff “to burn”).
2. “How chance”=How does it come about that? Wiv. V. v. 241 [230], 2H4 IV. iv. 20, R3 IV. ii. 99, Lr. II. iv. 64 “How the king comes with so small a number?”
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  • Cross-references in text-specific dictionaries from this page (1):
    • William Shakespeare, King Lear, 2.4
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