conditional probability


Definition of conditional probability

: the probability that a given event will occur if it is certain that another event has taken place or will take place

Examples of conditional probability in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Doyle believes the humpback whales have conditional probabilities in their language. Brian Resnick, Vox, "What humpback whales can teach us about alien languages," 6 Dec. 2018 The conditional probability wasn’t specified in Mr. Suva’s research note. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "How Do Pundits Never Get It Wrong? Call a 40% Chance," 10 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conditional probability.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of conditional probability

1937, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about conditional probability

Time Traveler for conditional probability

Time Traveler

The first known use of conditional probability was in 1937

See more words from the same year

Statistics for conditional probability

Cite this Entry

“Conditional probability.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 12 December 2019.

More from Merriam-Webster on conditional probability Encyclopedia article about conditional probability

Comments on conditional probability

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


a period of high artistic development

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!