stand a chance

stand a chance

Meaning

  • to have a possibility of succeeding, even if a remote one
  • to be possible to be able to do something
  • to have a hope of success
  • to have a possibility or a hope of success

Example Sentences

  1. Do you believe that you stand a chance of getting that job?
  2. His team doesn’t stand a chance of taking the title.
  3. I think you should try for a date with her, if you think you stand a chance.
  4. With this traffic, we don’t stand a chance of getting there before dark.
  5. If funding by the government is withdrawn, small minority schools in the remote northern area, don’t stand a chance.

Origin

The actual origin of the phrase “stand a chance” or “to stand a chance” is uncertain. But, it is believed to be a very old phrase, possibly dating back to the 1300s. The word “chance” derives from the Old French word cheance, which itself dates back to the Latin word cadentia, meaning “that which falls out.” So, to “stand a chance” meant there was a chance of something “falling out” or “happening”.

The first recorded use of the term is in 1796 in the Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice. (“Mrs. Long and her nieces must stand their chance.”) But, variations of the phrase are seen in other writings from earlier in the 1700s.

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