Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

likely

play
adjective like·ly \ˈlī-klē\

Simple Definition of likely

  • —used to indicate the chance that something will happen

  • : seeming to be true

  • : seeming to be right or suited for a purpose

Full Definition of likely

like·li·erlike·li·est

  1. 1 :  having a high probability of occurring or being true :  very probable <rain is likely today>

  2. 2 :  apparently qualified :  suitable <a likely place>

  3. 3 :  reliable, credible <a likely enough story>

  4. 4 :  promising <a likely candidate>

  5. 5 :  attractive <a likely child>

Examples of likely

  1. That seems to be the most likely explanation.

  2. This looks like a likely spot for a picnic.

  3. They regard him as a likely candidate for the job.



Origin of likely

Middle English, from Old English gelīclic fitting (from gelīc like) and Old Norse glīkligr, līkligr, from glīkr like; akin to Old English gelīc


First Known Use: 14th century


2

likely

adverb like·ly

Simple Definition of likely

  • : without much doubt

Full Definition of likely

  1. :  in all probability :  probably <those who seek power will most likely wind up exercising it — Halton Arp>

Examples of likely

  1. He'll very likely be late.

  2. Will it rain tomorrow? Most likely.



14th Century

First Known Use of likely

14th century




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up likely? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders spindrift pince-nez duvet
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ