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

But then H&dM’s sense of chic has always involved an element of the improbable. Ian Volner, WSJ, "Swiss Architecture Firm Herzog & De Meuron Celebrates 40 Years," 4 Nov. 2018 This time, a fan vote lifted the Wildkits to an improbable victory in a head-to-head showdown in the ESPYs competition for the year’s best play. Chicago Tribune,, "Blake Peters wins again, reps Evanston in ESPYs final four," 8 July 2018 Knapp slugged a solo homer to give the Phillies an improbable 4-3 victory and make all of Kapler’s maneuvering pay off. Scott Lauber,, "Andrew Knapp's walk-off homer gives Phillies improbable win over Nationals in 13 innings," 1 July 2018 Seeing a peasant wearing red is improbable, but the abundance of woad makes blue dyes commonplace even among peasants. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "'Outlaw King' vs. 'Braveheart': Which Movie Gets Scotland Right?," 13 Nov. 2018 Hardy, whose improbable journey to starting the Tigers’ series-winner began in an spot start at Triple-A Toledo this season, starred in the win. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers Blaine Hardy is the main man against White Sox," 27 May 2018 Thursday capped an improbable journey from a 400-person town in Idaho to the world's richest sports franchise. Drew Davison, star-telegram, "Leighton Vander Esch's journey: From eight-man to walk-on to the Cowboys | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 26 Apr. 2018 Denise Myers is making the improbable journey thanks to Bradie Tennell, the surprise champion at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships last month. Gary D'amato, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "D'Amato: Twin Lakes figure skating coach guides Bradie Tennell to Olympic berth," 6 Feb. 2018 Now, Jake Elliott’s right leg has taken him on an improbable journey to the Super Bowl The MMQB is on the road to Super Bowl 52. Jonathan Jones,, "Jake Elliott: How a Tennis Player Kick-Started an Unlikely Journey to the Super Bowl," 31 Jan. 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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Statistics for improbable

Last Updated

9 Apr 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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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).


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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