Definitions

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

  • n. A remote or slight chance: The sun was shining, but I brought an umbrella on the off chance that it might rain.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A condition of not being likely or probable.

Etymologies

From off + chance. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I sorted through the stacks next to the computer on the off chance she'd brought it back and just dumped it somewhere, and then tracked Flip down in Supply, making long strands of Desiderata's hair into hair wraps.

    Futures Imperfect

  • “And I want to get the master-at-arms involved in fingerprinting the bird right away, just on the off chance that something turns up.”

    Terror At Dawn

  • We therefore urge you not to bring your diamonds along on the off chance of being invited to the Broadcasting Branch dinner.

    Conferences are Murder

  • My hope is that if on the off chance Can’t-Commit Charlie/Needy Nick/Peter the Player reads this, instead of getting pissy he’ll realize how mean he is capable of being and change his ways.

    The Lo-Down

  • The Gorn took the gun and for a moment Corsi tensed on the off chance that Kazar might try something devious.

    Creative Couplings

  • “You mean Mary Hoyle would come all the way up from Glasgow on the off chance of bumping Penelope off, that she would climb up the mountain on a misty day and just happen to pull Penelope over!”

    Death of a Scriptwriter

  • "Probably," Esperanza said, "but on the off chance she's not comatose, I went with an alternative plan."

    Drop Shot

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