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

In a flash, the 33-year-old Guatemalan was in handcuffs, in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, headed to jail and probable deportation. Nomaan Merchant,, "Hunger, fear, desperation: What came of an ordinary ICE raid in Covington," 9 July 2018 Its main focus is to gather data to track the spread of Lyme disease, which saw 4,299 cases last year in Wisconsin — a number that includes the confirmed, probable and estimated Lyme disease diagnoses in the state. Jennifer Walter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The Tick App offers resources to identify, remove ticks as part of Lyme disease study," 3 July 2018 There have been more than 60 probable or confirmed cases and 28 deaths. Dina Fine Maron, Scientific American, "How Ebola Vaccines Have Helped to Usher In a New Era in the Outbreak Response," 23 June 2018 There are now 49 hemorrhagic fever cases: 22 confirmed as Ebola, 21 probable and 6 suspected, according to Health Minister Oly Ilunga. Saleh Mwanamilongo,, "Nurse dead in Congo as Ebola vaccination campaign starts," 21 May 2018 One way to sell a game is what’s been exclusive to baseball for more than a century: the probable pitchers, the one position in sports published exclusively in advance of two teams meeting. Staff,, "Nine Innings: Three Players Limiting the Cubs, Vlad Guerrero Jr.'s Eruption and Ohtani's Filthy Splitter," 29 May 2018 Rangers probable pitchers: Hamels, Bush, Chavez, LHP Alex Claudio, RHP Jose Leclerc. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Gallo crushes first spring homer, but slugging isn't No. 1 goal for 2018 | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 2 Mar. 2018 Glyphosate is also listed by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer as a probable human carcinogen. Brittany Shoot, Fortune, "Monsanto's Roundup Is on Trial. The Charge: Causing Cancer," 10 July 2018 Locally, things will start getting toasty toward the week’s end as several consecutive days of 90-degree-plus heat seem rather probable. Greg Porter, Washington Post, "PM Update: Scattered showers early, clearing overnight. Warm and comfortable on Monday.," 24 June 2018

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

23 Sep 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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