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

Example Sentences

Given the unlikelihood of a tax increase, these programs will probably run out of funding next year.
Recent Examples on the Web If that statement had been made before the season, some good money could have been made betting on the unlikelihood of that being the case. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 30 Oct. 2022 Despite the unlikelihood of hitting that mark (Auburn would need to average 5.6 sacks per game the rest of the season, including a bowl game), Auburn is going to keep striving for it. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, 21 Sep. 2022 That shift against Russia accelerated after Mr. Putin on Wednesday announced the mobilization of some additional 300,000 troops to Ukraine, signaling the unlikelihood of a quick end to the war. Matthew Lee, The Christian Science Monitor, 23 Sep. 2022 That’s particularly dire considering the unlikelihood of further such opportunities coming along. New York Times, 8 Sep. 2022 As Gibson rounded the bases and pumped his fist, Scully summed up the unlikelihood of the ex-Tiger taking Eckersley deep. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, 3 Aug. 2022 Both Hagman and Warren acknowledged the unlikelihood that the proposal would succeed. Los Angeles Times, 28 July 2022 But others doubt that explanation, noting the unlikelihood that a major shift in corporate concentration took place over just a couple years amid the pandemic. Max Zahn, ABC News, 30 June 2022 The state's Republican primary on Tuesday will all but decide the next congressional delegation from Arkansas given the unlikelihood of Democratic upsets in November, according to political observers and strategists. Ryan Tarinelli, Arkansas Online, 22 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unlikelihood.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 9 Feb. 2023.

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?