1

likely

adjective like·ly \ ˈlī-klē \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of likely

likelier; likeliest
1 : having a high probability of occurring or being true : very probable
  • rain is likely today
2 : apparently qualified : suitable
  • a likely place
3 : reliable, credible
  • a likely enough story
4 : promising
  • a likely candidate
5 : attractive
  • a likely child

Examples of likely in a Sentence

  1. That seems to be the most likely explanation.

  2. This looks like a likely spot for a picnic.

  3. They regard him as a likely candidate for the job.

Recent Examples of likely from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'likely.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of likely

Middle English, from Old English gelīclic fitting (from gelīc like) and Old Norse glīkligr, līkligr, from glīkr like; akin to Old English gelīc


2

likely

adverb

Definition of likely

: in all probability : probably
  • those who seek power will most likely wind up exercising it
  • —Halton Arp

Examples of likely in a Sentence

  1. He'll very likely be late.

  2. “Will it rain tomorrow?” “Most likely.”

Recent Examples of likely from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'likely.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of likely



LIKELY Defined for English Language Learners

likely

adjective

Definition of likely for English Language Learners

  • —used to indicate the chance that something will happen

  • : seeming to be true

  • : seeming to be right or suited for a purpose


likely

adverb

Definition of likely for English Language Learners

  • : without much doubt


LIKELY Defined for Kids

1

likely

adjective like·ly \ ˈlī-klē \

Definition of likely for Students

likelier; likeliest
1 : very possibly going to happen
  • That glass is likely to fall.
2 : seeming to be the truth : believable
  • That is the most likely explanation.
3 : giving hope of turning out well : promising
  • They found a likely spot for a picnic.

2

likely

adverb

Definition of likely for Students

: without great doubt She will likely be elected class president.


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