im·​prob·​a·​ble | \ (ˌ)im-ˈprä-bə-bəl How to pronounce improbable (audio) , -ˈpräb-bəl \

Definition of improbable

: unlikely to be true or to occur also : unlikely but real or true

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Other Words from improbable

improbability \ (ˌ)im-​ˌprä-​bə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce improbable (audio) \ noun
improbably \ (ˌ)im-​ˈprä-​bə-​blē How to pronounce improbable (audio) , -​ˈpräb-​blē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for improbable



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Examples of improbable in a Sentence

The team made an improbable comeback. it seems improbable that the two writers never met since they traveled in the same social circles
Recent Examples on the Web The improbable story of the baby in the manger has sustained humans for 2,000 years, through plagues and persecution, war and want, fears and falsehoods. Gerard Baker, WSJ, "How the Woke Stole Christmas," 21 Dec. 2020 Philadelphia’s improbable victory over the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Chargers’ win over the Atlanta Falcons keeps the fourth overall pick in Dallas, for now. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: 3 things we learned from Cowboys-Bengals, including why RB-by-committee is the way for Dallas to go," 14 Dec. 2020 The Raiders’ improbable last-minute victory — and the Jets’ inexplicable cover-0 blitz — kept them from dropping behind the Ravens and New England Patriots in the conference standings. Daniel Oyefusi,, "Where do the Ravens stand in the AFC playoff race after their win over the Cowboys?," 9 Dec. 2020 Kalish hopes Rocky’s improbable story can shed light on the work that wildlife rehabilitators do all over the country every single day. National Geographic, "Rockefeller, the viral stowaway Christmas tree owl, flies free," 24 Nov. 2020 Steury, an Angola junior who was once an orphaned shepherd in Ethiopia, wrote another chapter Saturday in his improbable story. David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, "Izaiah Steury goes from child shepherd in Ethiopia to state champ in Indiana," 1 Nov. 2020 While the Georgia legislature could call a special session if at least 60% of members in both houses of the General Assembly signed on, that is improbable since over 40% of the legislature is made up of Democrats. Arkansas Online, "Answers to questions about Trump's efforts to overturn Georgia's election results," 19 Dec. 2020 Los Angeles Chargers fans experienced a deeply unfamiliar feeling last Sunday when a last-second kick sailed through the uprights to give their team an improbable comeback win against the Atlanta Falcons. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The Los Angeles Chargers Are the NFL’s Best Losers," 16 Dec. 2020 And the odds of anything like that happening on a national scale are improbable: The New York Times reported that Trump’s own advisers have told him the odds are slim to none. Nuha Dolby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "How the Electoral College works in Wisconsin, and why it's unlikely go against the popular vote," 19 Nov. 2020

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

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First Known Use of improbable

1598, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for improbable

Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin improbabilis, from in- + probabilis probable

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Time Traveler for improbable

Time Traveler

The first known use of improbable was in 1598

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Statistics for improbable

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Improbable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for improbable


How to pronounce improbable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of improbable

: not probable : not likely to be true or to happen


im·​prob·​a·​ble | \ im-ˈprä-bə-bəl How to pronounce improbable (audio) \

Kids Definition of improbable

: not likely : not probable improbable stories

Other Words from improbable

improbably \ -​blē \ adverb an improbably happy ending

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