• WordNet 3.6
    • n chance-medley an unpremeditated killing of a human being in self defense
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Chance-medley Luck; chance; accident.
    • Chance-medley (Law) The killing of another in self-defense upon a sudden and unpremeditated encounter. See Chaud-Medley.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n chance-medley In law:
    • n chance-medley Originally, a casual affray or riot, accompanied with violence, and without deliberate or preconceived malice.
    • n chance-medley The killing of another in self-defense, upon a sudden and unpremeditated encounter.
    • n chance-medley Hence Misadventure.
    • n chance-medley A haphazard mixture; a fortuitous combination.
    • chance-medley Haphazard.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Chance-medley chans′-med-li homicide justifiable because done in the hot blood caused by an unprovoked assault—the word has no reference to homicide by accident: inadvertency.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Chance, + medley,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. chance medlée, mingled chance. 'From the fact that medley is also a noun, and chance-medley a possible combination in the sense of "fortuitous medley," the meaning has often been mistaken' (Dr Murray).


In literature:

While this was transacting upon the quarter-deck, a chance-medley fight was going on throughout the ship.
"Astoria Or, Anecdotes Of An Enterprise Beyond The Rocky Mountains" by Washington Irving
Beware of malice prepense, of chance-medley, and of manslaughter.
"The Prairie" by J. Fenimore Cooper
No plea was set up that the action was unpremeditated, and the event chance-medley.
"The History of Sumatra" by William Marsden
They are not a chance medley of good and bad.
"Joy in Service; Forgetting, and Pressing Onward; Until the Day Dawn" by George Tybout Purves
Or are its operations a mere chance-medley?
"Science and Morals and Other Essays" by Bertram Coghill Alan Windle
A chance medley fight now ensued, continuing until night put a period to the contest.
"Eleven Years in the Rocky Mountains and Life on the Frontier" by Frances Fuller Victor