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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
First recorded in 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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for chancy
Historical Examples
  • The struggle for life was difficult and chancy in the islands in those days.

    Following the Equator, Complete Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • Hopalong smiled, turned to Buck and related his conversation with chancy.

    Hopalong Cassidy's Rustler Round-Up Clarence Edward Mulford
  • Hugh de Moreville is a man whom it is not chancy to meddle with.

  • To get a light in this way was the most chancy thing in the world.

  • A dark road, pitted with shell holes and slimy with mud, is chancy.

    Golden Lads Arthur Gleason and Helen Hayes Gleason
  • You know what a hazardous, chancy, short-lived thing is the fashion of a woman.

    Phineas Redux

    Anthony Trollope
  • Matron Kowalski on night duty had a habit of turning that light off and on at chancy intervals after midnight.

  • Next comes anywhere in the barrel forward of the short ribs--a chancy proceeding, and one leading to long chases.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • It was a chancy plan at best, and would probably break down long before any visit could be made to the city.

    The Ethical Engineer Henry Maxwell Dempsey
  • It might be chancy, opening that door; so he peered through a narrow crack at first, listening intently.

    Merton of the Movies Harry Leon Wilson
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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