First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce Chance

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Chance mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Chance

User Submitted Meanings

  • A user from Massachusetts, United States says the name Chance means "Chancellor and good luck".
  • A user from Ohio, United States says the name Chance means "A gift aginst god".
  • A submission from Canada says the name Chance means "A gift against odds" and is of English origin.

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International Interest
Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Chance
  1. A supposed material or psychical agent or mode of activity other than a force, law, or purpose; fortune; fate; -- in this sense often personified."It is strictly and philosophically true in nature and reason that there is no such thing as chance or accident; it being evident that these words do not signify anything really existing, anything that is truly an agent or the cause of any event; but they signify merely men's ignorance of the real and immediate cause." [Samuel Clark.]"Any society into which chance might throw him." [Macaulay.]"That power Which erring men call Chance." [Milton.]
  2. The operation or activity of such agent."By chance a priest came down that way." [Luke x. 31.]
  3. The supposed effect of such an agent; something that befalls, as the result of unknown or unconsidered forces; the issue of uncertain conditions; an event not calculated upon; an unexpected occurrence; a happening; accident; fortuity; casualty."In the field of observation, chance favors only the mind that is prepared." [Louis Pasteur.]"It was a chance that happened to us." [1 Sam. vi. 9.]"The Knave of Diamonds tries his wily arts, And wins (O shameful chance!) the Queen of Hearts." [Pope.]"I spake of most disastrous chance." [Shak.]
  4. A possibility; a likelihood; an opportunity; -- with reference to a doubtful result; as, a chance to escape; a chance for life; the chances are all against him."So weary with disasters, tugged with fortune. That I would get my life on any chance, To mend it, or be rid on 't" [Shak.]
  5. [Math] Probability.

Note: Many of the everyday events which people observe and attribute to chance fall into the category described by Clark, as being in practice too complex for people to easily predict, but in theory predictable if one were to know the actions of the causal agents in great detail. At the subatomic level, however, there is much evidence to support the notion derived from Heisenberg's uncertaintly principle, that phenomena occur in nature which are truly randomly determined, not merely too complex to predict or observe accurately. Such phenomena, however, are observed only with one or a very small number of subatomic particles. When the probabilities of observed events are determined by the behavior of aggregates of millions of particles, the variations due to such quantum indeterminacy becomes so small as to be unobservable even over billions of repetitions, and may therefore be ignored in practical situations; such variations are so improbable that it would be irrational to condition anything of consequence upon the occurrence of such an improbable event. A clever experimenter, nevertheless, may contrive a system where a very visible event (such as the dynamiting of a building) depends on the occurrence of a truly chance subatomic event (such as the disintegration of a single radioactive nucleus). In such a contrived situation, one may accurately speak of an event determined by chance, in the sense of a random occurrence completely unpredictable, at least as to time.

Note: This quotation is usually found in the form "Chance favors the prepared mind." It is a common rejoinder to the assertion that a scientist was "lucky" to have made some particular discovery because of unanticipated factors. A related quotation, from the Nobel-Prize-winning chemist R. B. Woodward, is that "A scientist has to work wery hard to get to the point where he can be lucky."

Note: ☞ The mathematical expression, of a chance is the ratio of frequency with which an event happens in the long run. If an event may happen in a ways and may fail in b ways, and each of these a + b ways is equally likely, the chance, or probability, that the event will happen is measured by the fraction a/a + b , and the chance, or probability, that it will fail is measured by b/a + b .

Etymology: F. chance, OF. cheance, fr. LL. cadentia a allusion to the falling of the dice), fr. L. cadere to fall; akin to Skr. çad to fall, L. cedere to yield, E. cede. Cf. Cadence

verb Chance
To happen, come, or arrive, without design or expectation.

Note: Often used impersonally; as, how chances it?

verb Chance
  1. To take the chances of; to venture upon; -- usually with it as object."Come what will, I will chance it." [W. D. Howells.]
  2. To befall; to happen to.(Obs)
adjective Chance
Happening by chance; casual.
adverb Chance
By chance; perchance.
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A risk involving danger ("you take a chance when you let her drive")
  2. A measure of how likely it is that some event will occur; a number expressing the ratio of favorable cases to the whole number of cases possible ("if that phone call is for me, chances are it's my wife")
  3. An unknown and unpredictable phenomenon that causes an event to result one way rather than another ("we ran into each other by pure chance")
  4. The possibility of future success
  5. A possibility due to a favorable combination of circumstances ("now is your chance")
  6. Come upon, as if by accident; meet with ("She chanced upon an interesting book in the bookstore the other day")
  7. Take a risk in the hope of a favorable outcome
  8. Be the case by chance ("I chanced to meet my old friend in the street")
  9. Occurring or appearing or singled out by chance ("a chance occurrence")

Borrowing from Old French chance (“accident, chance, luck”), from Vulgar Latin *cadentia (“falling”), from Latin cadō (“I fall, I die”). Doublet of cadence and cadenza.

  1. (countable) An opportunity or possibility.
    We had the to meet the president last week.
  2. (uncountable) Random occurrence; luck.
    Why leave it to when a few simple steps will secure the desired outcome?
  3. (countable) The probability of something happening.
    There is a 30 percent of rain tomorrow.
  4. (countable, archaic) What befalls or happens to a person; their lot or fate.

chance was also found in the following language(s): Danish, French, Italian, Old French, Portuguese, and Spanish

Notable Persons Named Chance

Chance the Rapper is a hip hop music rapping, singing, songwriter, and actor. He plays Vocals and Human voice. His ongoing career started in 2011. Chance was given the name Chancelor Bennett on April 16th, 1993 in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Chance is also known as Chano and Lil' Chano from 79th.


Chance Kelly is an actor. His ongoing career started in 1995.


Chance Warmack is a football player for the Tennessee Titans. He has been prominent since 2013. Chance was born on September 14th, 1991 in Detroit.


His military service ended in 2004. Chance was born on July 14th, 1984 in Riverton, Wyoming. He left this life on April 9th, 2004.


Chance Mock is a football player. Chance was born on December 10th, 1981 in Lubbock, Texas.


Chance is a comics character.


Notable Persons With the Last Name Chance

Greyson Chance is a pop rock, electronic music, dance-pop, and funk singer-songwriter. He plays Piano, Ukulele, and Vocals. He has been prominent since 2010. Greyson was given the name Greyson Michael Chance on August 16th, 1997 in Wichita Falls, Texas.


James Chance is a no wave, dance-punk, punk jazz, and post-punk musician. He plays Alto saxophone, Keyboard instrument, and Vocals. His most notable accomplishments were from 1976 to present. James was given the name James Siegfried on April 20th, 1953 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. James is also known as James White.


Frank Chance was a baseball player. Frank was born on September 9th, 1876 in Salida, California. He passed away on September 15th, 1924.


Dean Chance was a baseball player. Dean was born on June 1st, 1941 in Wooster, Ohio. He passed away on October 11th, 2015.


Britton Chance was a scientist in the fields of biophysics and biochemistry. Britton was born on July 24th, 1913. He breathed his last breath on November 16th, 2010.


Chance is a comics character.


How popular is the baby name Chance in the U.S.?

Click Here to Show Chart Data
Year Total Babies Born Girls Born Boys Born
1883 5 0 5
1915 5 0 5
1922 6 0 6
1924 6 0 6
1943 5 0 5
1944 8 0 8
1947 7 0 7
1955 5 0 5
1956 5 0 5
1957 5 0 5
1959 7 0 7
1960 6 0 6
1961 8 0 8
1962 36 0 36
1963 52 0 52
1964 49 0 49
1965 36 0 36
1966 50 0 50
1967 112 6 106
1968 63 0 63
1969 131 0 131
1970 132 5 127
1971 203 6 197
1972 168 0 168
1973 139 6 133
1974 199 15 184
1975 193 15 178
1976 149 8 141
1977 161 10 151
1978 307 11 296
1979 281 13 268
1980 219 12 207
1981 200 11 189
1982 193 6 187
1983 241 11 230
1984 898 18 880
1985 656 6 650
1986 520 12 508
1987 561 17 544
1988 636 14 622
1989 728 17 711
1990 816 22 794
1991 789 22 767
1992 792 20 772
1993 942 33 909
1994 1,386 39 1,347
1995 1,667 36 1,631
1996 2,293 50 2,243
1997 1,755 41 1,714
1998 1,590 48 1,542
1999 1,560 50 1,510
2000 1,725 31 1,694
2001 1,577 35 1,542
2002 1,478 29 1,449
2003 1,435 44 1,391
2004 1,370 50 1,320
2005 1,310 36 1,274
2006 1,311 42 1,269
2007 1,509 37 1,472
2008 1,427 28 1,399
2009 1,530 15 1,515
2010 1,461 26 1,435
2011 1,656 25 1,631
2012 1,540 30 1,510
2013 1,549 34 1,515
2014 1,559 34 1,525
2015 1,483 29 1,454
2016 1,366 33 1,333
2017 1,359 27 1,332

Where is the name Chance popular?

International Interest for Chance

Interest is based how many people viewed this name from each country and is scaled based on the total views by each country so that large countries do not always show the most interest. Darker blue on the map indicates that people in the country are more likely to search for this name.

Longer bars in the bar graph indicate that people in the country are more interested in the name. Not all countries that have shown an interest in the name are listed in the bar graph.

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United Kingdom
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Popularity in the US

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Popularity of Chance as a first name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name Chance as a first name in each of the states. See other popular names in Oklahoma, Montana, or Wyoming.

Popularity of Chance as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Chance as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Texas, Georgia, or North Carolina.

Common last names for Chance

  • Smith
  • Hill

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Chance U.S.
  White 74.01% 64.26%
  African American 18.82% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.79% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 1.30% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 2.38% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 2.69% 16.26%

Of Last Name Chance

People with the last name Chance are most frequently White or African American

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Chance

  • What name lists does Chance rank for?
  • How Popular is the name Chance? Chance is the 1,032nd most popular name of all time. As a last name Chance was the 2,540th most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Chance have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 47,626 babies born with the first name Chance in the United States. That's more than enough people named Chance to occupy the territory of Turks and Caicos Islands (United Kingdom) with an estimated population of 44,493 (as of July 1, 2012).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Chance? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1883 when it was given as a first name to 5 new born babies.
  • When was Chance first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Chance is Wednesday, January 5th, 1870.
  • What year had the most people named Chance born? The highest recorded use of the first name Chance was in 1996 with a total of 2,243 babies. That's a lot of babies named Chance!
  • Random Chance Factoid: According to the 1998 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Chance ranks 84th in popularity as a baby boy's name in North Dakota. Imagine that, 14 babies in North Dakota have the same name as you in 1998.
  • Weird things about the name Chance: Your name in reverse order is Ecnahc. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Nehacc. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Chance? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 14,256 people with the last name Chance.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Chance? If you manage to meet 100,000 people in your life, chances are that 5 of them will have Chance as their last name.

What Chances Have Visited This Page?

Name poster for Chance

Name poster for Chance(click to save the high quality version)

Most Popular Names

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.