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 To calculate the probability of the outcome resulting from any particular branch (a conditional probability), the probabilities of the sequence of events are multiplied. New York Times, "What’s Going On in This Graph? | Estimated Time for Covid-19 Vaccine," 13 May 2020 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.

See More

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.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

More from Merriam-Webster on conditional probability

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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