Definition of chance-medley in English:



  • The killing of a person accidentally in self-defense in a fight.

    • ‘The murder of the constable was, if not properly accidental, at least rather in the nature of chance medley.’
    • ‘You say that James Annesley is Not Guilty of the felony and murder whereof he stands indicted, but is Guilty of chance-medley.’
    • ‘He, who commits chance-medley, shall fly his country for a year, till satisfaction be made to the dead person's kindred.’
    • ‘In 1828, the concept of chance medley was eventually abolished.’
    • ‘In his case, on appeal, the Chief Justice for the first time ruled that the defence of chance medley that downsized murder to manslaughter could not be pleaded under British law.’


Late 15th century: from Anglo-Norman French chance medlee, literally ‘mixed chance’, from chance ‘luck’ + medlee, feminine past participle of medler ‘to mix’ (based on Latin miscere).