chance-medley

Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A random, haphazard action or occurrence.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In law:
  • noun Originally, a casual affray or riot, accompanied with violence, and without deliberate or preconceived malice.
  • noun The killing of another in self-defense, upon a sudden and unpremeditated encounter.
  • noun Hence Misadventure.
  • noun A haphazard mixture; a fortuitous combination.
  • Haphazard.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Law) The killing of another in self-defense upon a sudden and unpremeditated encounter. See chaud-medley.
  • noun Luck; chance; accident.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an unpremeditated killing of a human being in self defense

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English chaunce medley, manslaughter, from Norman French chance medlee, mixed accident : Old French chance, accident; see chance + Old French medlee, mixed; see medley.]

Examples

  • This shows us the reason why in mixed modes any of the ideas that make the composition of the complex one being left out or changed, it is allowed to be another thing, i.e. to be of another species, as is plain in chance-medley, manslaughter, murder, parricide, &c.

    An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

  • But in his heart he thought, My unlucky protegee has with this luckless answer shot dead, by a kind of chance-medley, her only hope of success.

    The Heart of Mid-Lothian

  • So saying, he thrust the magic lance into some of the pigmy effigies, and belabored others with the but-end, upon which the former fell as dead upon the board, and the rest turning upon each other began, pell-mell, a chance-medley fight.

    The Alhambra

  • So saying, he thrust the magic lance into some of the pigmy effigies, and belabored others with the but-end, upon which the former fell as dead upon the board, and the rest turning upon each other began, pell-mell, a chance-medley fight.

    The Alhambra

  • His past went soberly before him; he beheld it as it was, ugly and strenuous like a dream, random as chance-medley -- a scene of defeat.

    Short Stories for English Courses

  • His past went soberly before him; he beheld it as it was, ugly and strenuous like a dream, random as chance-medley -- a scene of defeat.

    The Short-story

  • The end comes to both actions at once in the squalor of a chance-medley.

    William Shakespeare

  • I have not time or paper, else I could draw an inference, not very illustrative of your chance-medley system.

    Mary Wollstonecraft

  • It is hardly necessary to ask the latter question, for chance-medley could not lead to regular operations -- operations so regular that a court of law may act upon their evidence.

    Science and Morals and Other Essays

  • "Nature does this," and "Nature does that," forgetting entirely the fact that "Nature" is a mere personification and means either chance-medley or a Creator, according to the old dilemma.

    Science and Morals and Other Essays

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