prob·​a·​ble | \ˈprä-bə-bəl, 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


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

Canon-McMillan has a pair of solid righthanded pitchers in senior Zach Rohaley, Monday’s probable starter, and junior Cam Weston. Rick O'brien,, "Five baseball teams set for Monday's PIAA state semifinals," 9 June 2018 As of Saturday, according to the World Health Organization, there have been 49 confirmed or probable cases of the hemorrhagic disease in the DRC, along with 25 deaths. Maryn Mckenna, WIRED, "The Political Theater of Controlling Ebola with Border Checks," 22 May 2018 Harvey will join the Reds in Los Angeles, though he is not listed as a probable starter during the team's four-game series against the Dodgers. Dave Clark,, "Trade to Reds 'terrible' for Matt Harvey, says ESPN's Buster Olney," 10 May 2018 The probable starters for the second game at 3:05 p.m. Saturday are both junior right-handers -- Bryce Fehmel (5-1, 3.34) for OSU and Sam Romero (1-1, 5.91) for ASU. Ken Goe,, "Live updates: Oregon State Beavers spring football game completes first spring of the Jonathan Smith era," 28 Apr. 2018 Embiid was announced as doubtful at the beginning of the day but was upgraded to probable in the afternoon and eventually cleared to start. The Associated Press, New York Times, "Masked Joel Embiid Leads 76ers to Easy Win Over Heat," 20 Apr. 2018 The Hoyas’ 87-83 victory on Tuesday night changed Butler’s NCAA tournament prospects from probable to perilous. David Woods, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: This loss puts Butler in perilous NCAA tournament position," 13 Feb. 2018 Rodney Hood played 16 minutes after being listed as probable with a bruised lower leg. USA TODAY, "Rubio's season-high 34 leads Jazz by Spurs, 120-111," 3 Feb. 2018 Right-hander Pedro Avila, who led the Padres system with 170 strikeouts, is the probable starter. Jeff Sanders,, "Michel Baez strong as TinCaps win playoff opener," 6 Sep. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Here are the lineup and pitching probables: Lineup: Delino DeShields, cf; Rougned Odor, dh; Jurickson Profar, ss; Nomar Mazara, rf; Ronald Guzman, 1b; Drew Robinson, lf; Brett Nicholas, c; Christian Lopes, 3b; Hanser Alberto, 2b. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Chavez has respect of Rangers brass despite role in dust-up with Blue Jays | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 23 Feb. 2018 Also, check out probables for the San Diego series this weekend. Andrew Baggarly, The Mercury News, "Giants lineup: Denard Span remains sidelined vs. Diamondbacks," 5 Apr. 2017 A’s probables: RHP Chris Smith, RHP Liam Hendrix, LHP Ross Detwiler. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Antonio Senzatela, Greg Holland, Jason Motte struggle on mound in Rockies’ loss," 18 Mar. 2017 Rockies probables: RHP Jon Gray, RHP Adam Ottavino, RHP Scott Oberg, LHP Mike Dunn, LHP Jerry Vasto. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Antonio Senzatela, Greg Holland, Jason Motte struggle on mound in Rockies’ loss," 18 Mar. 2017

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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Last Updated

4 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for probable

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

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More Definitions for probable



English Language Learners Definition of probable

: likely to happen or to be true but not certain


prob·​a·​ble | \ˈprä-bə-bəl \

Kids Definition of probable

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on probable

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for probable

Spanish Central: Translation of probable

Nglish: Translation of probable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of probable for Arabic Speakers

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