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 Though Woods' path forward is unclear, what is clear is how many people are rooting for him, for his legacy, and for all the years of his influence and greatness to rise again with one more shining, improbable victory. Aj Willingham, CNN, "Tiger Woods made us realize it's ok to love an imperfect athlete," 25 Feb. 2021 Charlotte's Terry Rozier received the pass, took a few dribbles to his left, and hit a jumper as time expired to steal what was an improbable victory just nine seconds prior. Don Yaeger, Forbes, "After Failure, Here Are 2 Indicators For Future Success Learned From NBA Champs," 24 Feb. 2021 There is growing consensus that intelligent life here may well have depended on improbable contingencies such as the Chicxulub asteroid impact, sixty-six million years ago, which obliterated the dinosaurs. The New Yorker, "The Mail," 8 Feb. 2021 The Atlanta Falcons led the New England Patriots 28-3 midway through the third quarter before Tom Brady led the Patriots on an improbable comeback that resulted in something that had never happened before and hasn’t happened since. Chuck Schilken, Los Angeles Times, "Super Bowl LV: What if there’s a tie? Here are the overtime rules," 7 Feb. 2021 Or use it as a mold for Jell-o Waldorf Salad, as wobbly as Seahawk Jermaine Kearse’s improbable catch in Super Bowl XLIX. Mackenzie Chung Fegan, Bon Appétit, "No Super Bowl Is Complete Without a Super Bundt," 2 Feb. 2021 But, if the University of Utah ultimately failed to complete its improbable comeback in Boulder, what would the point of that big second half have been? Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah Runnin’ Utes’ Alfonso Plummer was the hero, but late Pelle Larsson defensive stand secures win at Colorado," 30 Jan. 2021 The improbable arrival of Russian table tennis on the betting scene was swift and opportune. New York Times, "Think Americans Wouldn’t Wager on Russian Table Tennis? Care to Bet?," 25 Jan. 2021 An impeachment effort in the House would require the votes of 67 senators to convict, an improbable proposition given the upper chamber's current composition. Carly Roman, Washington Examiner, "Assistant speaker: House Democrats could start second Trump impeachment 'mid-next week'," 8 Jan. 2021

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

4 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Improbable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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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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