[mis-chans, -chahns]


a mishap or misfortune.

Origin of mischance

1250–1300; mis-1 + chance; replacing Middle English mescheance < Old French
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mischance

Historical Examples of mischance

  • We can convey the intelligence of your mischance to her: the porter will befriend you.

    Calderon The Courtier

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • By some mischance, it had been left lying on the parlour floor, and become forgotten.


    Samuel Smiles

  • Arriving in Damascus they both stay at the same Hotel: mischance second.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • But, first of all, we must beware lest we meet with some mischance.

  • Now we have wept over our mischance, we will bury it and look to the future.

    An Orkney Maid

    Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

British Dictionary definitions for mischance



bad luck
a stroke of bad luck
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

Word Origin and History for mischance

c.1300, from Old French mescheance "misfortune, mishap, accident; wickedness, malice," from Vulgar Latin *minuscadentiam; see mis- (2) + chance (n.). Now usually "bad luck;" formerly much stronger: "calamity, disaster."


1540s, from mis- (1) + chance (v.). Related: Mischanced; mischancing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper