like·​li·​hood | \ ˈlī-klē-ˌhu̇d How to pronounce likelihood (audio) \

Definition of likelihood

: probability a strong likelihood that he is correct— T. D. Anderson

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Synonyms & Antonyms for likelihood


liability, probability


improbability, unlikelihood, unlikeliness

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Examples of likelihood in a Sentence

There is a strong likelihood that he will be reelected. the weatherman on TV said that the likelihood of rain today was fairly high

Recent Examples on the Web

Jacobs: Support groups help caregivers develop a trusting, convivial rapport that increases a sense of social support and decreases the likelihood of loneliness and depression. Michele Parente,, "Too busy, too shy for a caregiver support group? Go to one, then decide," 24 Apr. 2018 While not every tick carries pathogens, waiting too long to remove a tick can increase the likelihood of transmission. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How to Remove a Tick the Right Way," 17 Apr. 2019 Airlines are grappling with the likelihood of a protracted global grounding following two fatal crashes. Ben Otto, WSJ, "Airlines Review Plans as Boeing Faces First Cancellation of 737 MAX Order," 22 Mar. 2019 Research by the Vera Institute of Justice, which looked at a similar practice in New Orleans, connects juvenile detention fees with a likelihood that the same person will be incarcerated again. Christianna Silva, Teen Vogue, "$90 Million in Debt Owed for Juvenile Detention Fees Was Canceled by Los Angeles County," 23 Oct. 2018 By investing in a door that's made of quality materials and installed professionally and tightly, homeowners decrease the likelihood of these natural elements coming into their home. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need to Know About Buying Exterior Doors," 19 Feb. 2019 And now, according to Deadline, Aaron Korsh weighed in on the likelihood of Meghan returning for the finale during TCA while discussing the forthcoming Suits spinoff starring Gina Torres. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Creator of Suits Just Weighed in on Whether Meghan Markle Will Return for Final Season," 30 Jan. 2019 The likelihood that magma and water will interact increases the chance of an eruption. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "Hawaii's Kilauea volcano ranked among top 10 most dangerous in US," 16 May 2018 Opposition focused on the potential for fires in a windy area, the likelihood of lost views and lowered property values, and firetruck and AT&T truck access on an unmaintained road. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Opposition to wireless tower sways planners," 8 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'likelihood.' 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 likelihood

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for likelihood

see likely entry 1

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Statistics for likelihood

Last Updated

12 May 2019

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Time Traveler for likelihood

The first known use of likelihood was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for likelihood



English Language Learners Definition of likelihood

: the chance that something will happen


like·​li·​hood | \ ˈlī-klē-ˌhu̇d How to pronounce likelihood (audio) \

Kids Definition of likelihood

: probability sense 1 In all likelihood we will go.

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Comments on likelihood

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


highly pertinent or appropriate

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