Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.
a chance to win or succeed, but only after a hard struggle
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
nounThe American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
A chance to win but only with a struggle: had a fighting chance to recover.
fighting chance - Phrases/Idioms
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
A possibility of winning, but only with a struggle. For example, It's going to be hard to beat that record, but I think he has a fighting chance. [Late 1800s]