prob·​a·​ble | \ ˈprä-bə-bəl How to pronounce probable (audio) , ˈprä(b)-bəl \

Definition of probable

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : supported by evidence strong enough to establish presumption but not proof a probable hypothesis
2 : establishing a probability probable evidence
3 : likely to be or become true or real probable outcome



Definition of probable (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that is probable

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Examples of probable in a Sentence

Adjective It is probable that life exists outside of our planet. the counselor could find no probable reason for the girl's bizarre actions
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Clippers at Celtics: Key injuries Celtics SF Jaylen Brown (calf) probableC Robert Williams III (hip) out Clippers PG Patrick Beverley (groin) out Get some action on this game or others by placing a bet at BetMGM. Marcus Mosher, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Los Angeles Clippers at Boston Celtics odds, picks and best bets," 13 Feb. 2020 However, probable future roadblocks do worry Ginsburg, and with good reason. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "How SCOTUS justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg accidentally scandalized Equal Rights Amendment activists," 13 Feb. 2020 That’s six more than the previous high of 401 deaths in 2017, and there are still about 15 more probable overdose cases from 2019 that are pending further tests. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "407 people died in Milwaukee County from drug overdoses in 2019, a new record," 11 Feb. 2020 Equifax disclosed the probable worst-ever leak of US individuals' data in September 2017. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "Equifax breach was the work of Chinese state hackers, DOJ says," 10 Feb. 2020 Tesla's fans are to blame for its probable failure as an investment from these heights. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Tesla’s growth problem—by the numbers," 7 Feb. 2020 Surprisingly, notes Parlett, none of the probable Mehen pieces known to survive today are small enough to fit into the individual segments of the boards with which they were found, adding yet another layer of intrigue to an already mysterious game. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Best Board Games of the Ancient World," 6 Feb. 2020 The pick of Mecole Hardman, for instance, makes the probable loss of Watkins much easier to stomach. Nora Princiotti,, "Can the Chiefs build a dynasty like the Patriots?," 6 Feb. 2020 A month before, Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan, two women around Darke's age, had founded the women-only coworking and networking space the Wing, a much more probable meeting spot for city-dwelling 21st-century women with means. Natalie Gontcharova,, "Here’s What The Change-Makers Of 2016 Have Done With All That Big Activist Energy," 30 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun During the Battle of Britain, the Squadron was credited with 126 enemy aircraft destroyed, 13 probables, and nine damaged., "Community News For The Glastonbury Edition," 8 Nov. 2019 The Dodgers’ pitching probables for the three-game weekend series against the San Francisco Giants remains incomplete. Los Angeles Times, "Rookie outfielder Alex Verdugo has setback in timeline for return to the Dodgers," 4 Sep. 2019 But, with a week-and-a-half to go, here’s a look at the probables for the race, courtesy of racing secretary David Jerkens. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, "Racing! Welcome back Colonial Downs," 8 Aug. 2019 Absent from this weekend’s probables are all-stars Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler, each of whom logged an inning in the All-Star game. Jorge Castillo,, "Dodgers gain three veterans to begin the second half against Red Sox," 11 July 2019 With two other youngsters, Luis Perdomo and Dinelson Lamet, seemingly the only probables for next year’s rotation, the possibility of a deal to return to San Diego appears distinct. Dennis Lin,, "After being released in August, Lyles looking forward to facing Rockies," 15 Sep. 2017 Follow this page for updates, pitching probables and more. Richard Morin, azcentral, "Game Day: Diamondbacks meet the Padres for first time in 2018," 19 Apr. 2018 The Tigers’ probables are Francisco Liriano on Tuesday, Matthew Boyd on Wednesday and Jordan Zimmermann on Thursday … Both Orioles and Red Sox players wore No. Eduardo A. Encina,, "Orioles notes: Right-hander David Hess recalled from Triple-A, Hart optioned," 15 Apr. 2018 Pitching probables for the series: 7 p.m. Friday – JSU RHP Garrett Farmer (1-0, 2.70 ERA) vs. FIU RHP Tyler Myrick (1-0, 0.00 ERA) Never miss a local story. miamiherald, "FIU baseball opens three-game series against Jacksonville State on Friday | Miami Herald," 1 Mar. 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1638, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for probable


Middle English, from Latin probabilis commendable, probable, from probare to test, approve, prove — more at prove

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Time Traveler for probable

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for probable

Last Updated

25 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Probable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for probable


How to pronounce probable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of probable

: likely to happen or to be true but not certain


prob·​a·​ble | \ ˈprä-bə-bəl How to pronounce probable (audio) \

Kids Definition of probable

: reasonably sure but not certain of happening or being true : likely

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