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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for chancy
Historical Examples
  • The river once crossed, they had only before them, from k to z, slopes which were practicable to debouch on the plateau of chancy.

    History of Julius Caesar Vol. 2 of 2 Napoleon III, Emperor of the French, 1808-1873.
  • The struggle for life was difficult and chancy in the islands in those days.

    Following the Equator, Complete Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • 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
  • 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
  • Now chancy his son has taken the field and is famous among the eleven of his school.

    Roundabout Papers William Makepeace Thackeray
  • 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 was chancy work at best, with a possible stumble up against death at every step.

    Carette of Sark John Oxenham
  • Make all profitable bargains in the name of "Standard Oil," chancy ones in the names of dummies.

    Frenzied Finance Thomas W. Lawson
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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