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



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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 feat has solidified Buttigieg as a true contender, something that seemed improbable a year ago. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, "A New Hampshire primary win is key for multiple Democrats. Here's what we know," 6 Feb. 2020 The daunting scale of this is immediately apparent; thinking only about our own blocks or our own cities, the task seems improbable. Philip Bump, Washington Post, "The breathtaking scale of Santa Claus’s task on Christmas Eve," 20 Dec. 2019 Studying the tokamak has taken so long, and sometimes seemed so impossible to implement at large scale rather than just wildly improbable, that a second related device has threatened to overtake it in the public eye. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "China Is Building an Artificial Sun," 20 Dec. 2019 Even with Venissa’s improbable success, there’s no question the future looks less certain and more fraught today. Melanie Haiken, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Lost Golden Grape of Venice: How an Italian Family Resurrected its Rarest Wine," 16 Dec. 2019 Shah’s analogy, which claimed that both blockchain and clean-tech adoption depend on a widespread—and improbable—shift in business behavior, was echoed by other VCs on Twitter. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Crypto’s Crown Prince Survived ‘The Craziest Bubble Ever.’ Now He’s Ready For a Second Act," 11 Dec. 2019 Yet when Jokic bailed them out for the second time in three days with an improbable, baseline fadeaway in the face of 7-foot Karl-Anthony Towns, the Nuggets’ postgame locker room carried on as if nothing special had just happened. Mike Singer, The Denver Post, "“Legend of Nikola Jokic”: Inside the Nuggets superstar’s second consecutive game-winner," 10 Nov. 2019 The newcomer was walking the final steps of an improbable, 15,000-mile odyssey. Griff Witte, Washington Post, "They’re the refugees that Trump tried to stop. But now they’re here, and they’re ‘becoming Americans.’," 12 Oct. 2019 It is deranged, its pilot dense with improbable, hand-over-mouth twists. Philippa Snow, The New Republic, "How The Politician’s Ruthless Satire Misses," 27 Sep. 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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Time Traveler for improbable

Time Traveler

The first known use of improbable was in 1598

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Statistics for improbable

Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Improbable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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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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