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[chan-see, chahn-] /ˈtʃæn si, ˈtʃɑn-/
adjective, chancier, chanciest.
uncertain, hazardous, or risky.
random; haphazard; subject to chance.
Chiefly Scot. lucky1 .
Origin of chancy
1505-15; chance + -y1
Related forms
chanciness, noun
1. precarious, doubtful, dubious, venturesome.
1. sure, certain, predictable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for chancy
  • Join us in a captivating discussion that will demystify the chancy side of life.
  • Writing to companies with requests or complaints is a chancy business.
  • Studio executives have long known that such films are chancy.
  • Filming a monologue imitation-a uniquely theatrical form-is especially chancy.
  • Predicting the course and strength of a hurricane is a chancy art.
  • Picking the right moment to civilize it and shape it, though, is chancy.
  • We know the treatment is painful and the cure, chancy.
  • There were no more chancy meetings in neutral countries.
British Dictionary definitions for chancy


adjective chancier, chanciest
(informal) of uncertain outcome or temperament; risky
Derived Forms
chancily, adverb
chanciness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for chancy

1510s, "lucky, foreboding good fortune," from chance (n.) + -y (2). Meaning "uncertain, subject to risk" is recorded from 1860. The possible sense "full of opportunity" seems to have been used regularly only in cricket (1875).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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