un·​like·​li·​hood ˌən-ˈlī-klē-ˌhu̇d How to pronounce unlikelihood (audio)
: something unlikely

Examples of unlikelihood in a Sentence

Given the unlikelihood of a tax increase, these programs will probably run out of funding next year.
Recent Examples on the Web The top of the stretch became a seven-wide guessing game, keeping outcomes of all sizes, stripes and degrees of unlikelihood alive exhiliratingly late in a race that sits on mothballs for 364 days. Bryce Miller, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 May 2024 The story of my breast cancer diagnosis is full of unlikelihoods. Lauren Gray, SELF, 1 Apr. 2024 Powell on Sunday doubled down on the unlikelihood of a cut next month. Krystal Hur, CNN, 5 Feb. 2024 Today, given a possible Republican majority ahead and the unlikelihood that so many Republicans would defect again, ratifying a successor treaty is a dubious prospect at best. John R. Bolton, National Review, 25 Jan. 2024 Fight from the start The NIH reports that, because of the high unlikelihood of survival, a newborn with trisomy 18 should be considered a patient with a hopeless outlook who ought not to be subjected to invasive procedures. Rick Mauch, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 24 Jan. 2024 But the sheer unlikelihood of the story will leave many of us asking one final question: WTF? Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Sep. 2023 Rather than rely on assumptions about the unlikelihood of a full-scale war, Western leaders who doubted the prospect of a Russian invasion should have paid more attention to his rhetoric about Ukraine. Margaret MacMillan, Foreign Affairs, 12 June 2023 Both the budget and the timeline for this project are likely very ambitious, given the amount of coordination needed and the unlikelihood that Europe's Ariane 6 rocket will have the spare launch capacity to get hundreds of satellites into low-Earth orbit starting in the mid-2020s. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 3 May 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unlikelihood.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of unlikelihood was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near unlikelihood

Cite this Entry

“Unlikelihood.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unlikelihood. Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


un·​like·​li·​hood ˌən-ˈlī-klē-ˌhu̇d How to pronounce unlikelihood (audio)
: the quality or state of being unlikely

More from Merriam-Webster on unlikelihood

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