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

Synonyms & Antonyms for improbable


doubtful, dubious, far-fetched, flimsy, questionable, unapt, unlikely


likely, probable

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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 frenetic post-game celebration followed an improbable 10-7 victory by the Sun Devils (3-0) over Michigan State (2-1), which came in ranked 18th in one national poll and 19th in another and boasting the nation's top-ranked rushing defense. Michelle Gardner, azcentral, "ASU upsets No. 18 Michigan State 10-7 on Daniels' heroics, Spartan mistakes," 14 Sep. 2019 But the black shroud of doom came tumbling down yesterday in the most improbable victory in the Browns’ new era. Rich Exner,, "Cleveland Browns thrilling 2002 OT win over Tennessee Titans: Browns flashback," 3 Sep. 2019 His error, in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, cost the Mets a win and gave the Yankees a most improbable victory. Doha Madani, NBC News, "Ex-MLB players Octavio Dotel and Luis Castillo arrested in connection with Caribbean drug ring," 20 Aug. 2019 And despite being blanketed by several SMU defenders, BYU’s Clay Brown came down with the ball, giving the Cougars an improbable 46-45 victory. Scooby Axson,, "The Greatest Bowl Games in College Football History," 12 Aug. 2019 Playing miserably for three quarters, the Minnesota Lynx nearly pulled out an improbable victory. Mike Cook, Twin Cities, "Lynx rally but fall 90-79 to Seattle," 17 July 2019 In this case, lightning would strike twice, eventually ending the race and earning Haley the one of the most improbable victories ever at Daytona International Speedway. Edgar Thompson,, "Longshot Justin Haley wins rain-shortened Coke Zero Sugar 400," 7 July 2019 Brandeis trailed 27-7 early in the third quarter before Jordan passed for two scores and rushed for two scores, leading to the improbable victory. San Antonio Express-News, "“I hope he never forgets her because she loved him like there was no tomorrow.”," 5 July 2019 The ordinance passed on a 3-2 vote with support from then-Mayor Joan Hoffman, a seemingly improbable victory for LGBTQ civil rights in rural America. Chris Kenning, The Courier-Journal, "What a Kentucky town's 20-year struggle with 'Fairness' says about rural LGBTQ rights," 21 June 2019

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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Statistics for improbable

Last Updated

8 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for improbable

The first known use of improbable was in 1598

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More Definitions for improbable



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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