flip a coin

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 ?
John Taurek argued that when deciding what to do in such a situation, you should flip a coin, thereby giving each of A, B and C a 50 percent chance of survival (Taurek 1977: 303).
EGC is a principle that is at least partly about how one should decide what to do in the end: flip a coin. It is also a principle about what to do in the end: whatever 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.
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. And this cannot be right.
We only need one torsion bar and we'd rather not flip a coin. Can you help us out?
Just flip a coin!A But in times of difficulties, between life and death - do we just have to flip a coin and choose between 'heads' or 'tails'?
Melton said because the jury wanted to avoid a mistrial they decided to flip a coin.
Givens' lawyer, Mr Mark Chandler, said it was "scary" to think that 12 people would decide to flip a coin to reach a verdict, especially in a murder case.
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.
Flip a coin? Canadians would see American spelling as capitulation.
``They have got thousands of students with straight As and they could flip a coin, but no-one would like that, so they do interviews.