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

  • adj. Uncertain as to outcome; risky; hazardous.
  • adj. Random; haphazard.
  • adj. Scots Lucky; propitious.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. uncertain, risky, hazardous
  • adj. subject to chance; random

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. depending on chance.
  • adj. subject to accident or chance or change.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Uncertain; changeful.
  • Fortunate; lucky; propitious; foreboding good: applied to either persons or things, and generally used with a negative in the sense of uncanny: thus, persons suspected of possessing magical arts are regarded as not (or no) chancy.
  • Favorable; safe: as, a chancy wind: generally used with a negative: as, not chancy (that is, dangerous).

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

  • adj. subject to accident or chance or change
  • adj. of uncertain outcome; especially fraught with risk


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Accepting Loyal Achates at his word chancy I know I must say that I find it odd that he, suffering with a genetic disorder which supposedly claims its victims lives at an early age, is alive at the age of 24 presumably without any medical intervention.

    “Give me liberty or give me social justice” revisited

  • Some would call it chancy, precarious, very dangerous or whatever, but sometimes we walk through those doors and at best, have called it foolishness, of which we wouldn’t have had the really good time we did, should we have elected to always close those doors …

    Common sense advice on how to stay safe in Mexico.

  • So jump on the "chancy" Obama boat and pray it will stay afloat!

    Heavy turnout reported, few problems seen

  • But I'll tell you, it's been really kind of chancy at times.

    CNN Transcript Sep 13, 2008

  • His good old wife had gotten down her best "chancy," white with blue rimming, while the cloth on the table was as white as snow, and the floor spotlessly neat with its heavy sprinkling of white sand.

    The old plantation : how we lived in great house and cabin before the war,

  • Hence it is 'chancy' whether a particular individual will find a job.

  • The writing enterprise seemed to me self-evidently a desperate one, and though my mother and I - both only children – had been desperate enough to undertake it, I thought my children, raised in a gentler, undepressed, gregarious world, would seek out less chancy and more orthodox professions.


  • The measures that may dampen demand are secondary and chancy.


  • Don't take chancy shots, don't blast away at running deer 400 yards away, if you must use "BUCKSHOT" please be close and if you see poachers-TURN THEM IN!

    Crippled Deer

  • Maybe its mere presence in my home will have some giant cascade effect, rippling through my universe, enlivening my entire life, bringing me out of Comfortable and into Fabulous Adventure, but without me having to actually do anything chancy.

    Meredith Fein Lichtenberg, CCE: Toy Story: Motherhood and Sexual Healing


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