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A random, haphazard action or occurrence.

[Middle English chaunce medley, manslaughter, from Norman French chance medlee, mixed accident : Old French chance, accident; see chance + Old French medlee, mixed; see medley.]


(Law) law a sudden quarrel in which one party kills another; unintentional but not blameless killing
[C15: from Anglo-French chance medlee mixed chance]


1. a homicide during a chance encounter.
2. aimless, random action.
[1485–95; < Anglo-French chance medlee]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.chance-medley - an unpremeditated killing of a human being in self defense
manslaughter - homicide without malice aforethought
law, jurisprudence - the collection of rules imposed by authority; "civilization presupposes respect for the law"; "the great problem for jurisprudence to allow freedom while enforcing order"
References in classic literature ?
While this was transacting upon the quarter-deck, a chance-medley fight was going on throughout the ship.
Beware of malice prepense, of chance-medley, and of manslaughter.