flip a coin


Also found in: Legal.

flip a coin

1. Literally, to throw a coin into the air, with the outcome of something dependent on which side of the coin lands face-up. My brother and I used to flip a coin to decide everything when we were kids.
2. By extension, to give something over to chance, especially when two opposite outcomes are equally likely. At this point, we're just flipping a coin whether the car will get us the whole way to Denver or not.
See also: coin, flip
References in periodicals archive ?
Another experiment gave participants three options: keep the 5 dollars, give away the 5 dollars and trust the other person to share, or give the 5 dollars to the other person with the understanding that she would flip a coin to determine who would get the money.
It's not enough to flip a coin and then coincidentally do what the coin says to do.
If Batman were to flip a coin to decide whether to save the larger or the smaller group, he would diminish each person's chance of survival to one-half.
If Batman is to follow EGC, at 1:00 he must flip a coin to decide which box to check, since that gives each hostage an equal greatest chance of survival.
5) The point here is not merely that Batman should not flip a coin at 1:00.
If Lawlor is right, then in a version of the Batman case in which there are 2,000,001 people involved, to be divided into a group of 1,000,000 and a group of 1,000,001, Batman should, at noon, choose to save the larger group, and at 1:00, flip a coin.
Imagine the three of them begging Batman to choose the greater number, and imagine Batman replying: "I'm morally obligated to show respect to all of you as rational beings, and this requires me to flip a coin.
In the interest of preempting bad objections, we might again appeal to a Scanlonian principle, and point out that if Carol were to lodge a complaint against Batman, insisting that he flip a coin or spin a wheel of fortune at 1:00, she would be unreasonable.
To get the next term, flip a coin to decide whether to add the last two terms or subtract the last term from the previous term.