im·​prob·​a·​ble | \ (ˌ)im-ˈprä-bə-bəl, -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 \ noun
improbably \ (ˌ)im-​ˈprä-​bə-​blē , -​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 most improbable of these valuations was for Tysens Park Apartments, a complex of eight buildings with 1,019 units on Staten Island. Susanne Craig, The Seattle Times, "Trump engaged in suspect tax schemes as he reaped riches from father," 2 Oct. 2018 To be clear: This would require one of the most improbable runs imaginable in a group stage. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Why Costa Rica Believes It Can Shock the World Again," 21 June 2018 The loss still ranks as Belgium's most improbable in the World Cup. Motez Bishara, CNN, "World Cup: Brazil needs to avoid another historical upset for redemption," 10 June 2018 And thus began the most improbable of the 14 majors Woods has won. Doug Ferguson,, "Tiger Woods' last major win 10 years ago a testament to willpower," 8 June 2018 The state's most statistically improbable winner this year: Sebastian Hobbs of Lostine, a Northeast Oregon hamlet of about 200 people. Betsy Hammond,, "26 Oregon seniors from 19 schools win top National Merit honors," 9 May 2018 Now, at the crossroads of his career, Kemp and the Dodgers are reunited in baseball’s most improbable reunion, their own version of Roseanne. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "Matt Kemp - older but leaner - bullish on Dodgers reunion: 'I always wanted to come home'," 4 Apr. 2018 The Democrats’ only win in the nearly three decades between 1964 and 1992 was Jimmy Carter’s improbable victory in 1976, an asterisk made possible by a powerful post-Watergate backlash. Neil Swidey,, "How Democrats would be better off if Bill Clinton had never been president," 10 July 2018 The child happily laced them up and played the rest of the game in his coach’s sneakers as his team came back from a 12-point deficit to steal an improbable victory. Bill Plaschke,, "Cheers to all the Sports Dads, who know a thing or two about giving their all for their kids," 17 June 2018

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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Last Updated

15 Jan 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 \

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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Comments on improbable

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


to settle judicially or to act as judge

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