un·​like·​li·​hood | \ ˌən-ˈlī-klē-ˌhu̇d How to pronounce unlikelihood (audio) \

Definition of unlikelihood

2 : 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 There’s also the unlikelihood of a player being productive enough for that long to warrant an everyday spot in the lineup. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Can anyone ever match Cal Ripken Jr.’s consecutive games streak? He might be the only one who thinks so.," 6 Sep. 2020 Due to the high unlikelihood that in-person instruction will be allowed beyond the very limited activities ... Leah Asmelash, CNN, "Why reopening poses a damned if you do, damned if you don't dilemma for colleges," 21 Aug. 2020 That pessimism stems from the unlikelihood of a vaccine being ready in time for a spring season, the possibility of a COVID-19 resurgence coupling with flu season, and the possibility of large swaths of players opting out of the season. John Talty | Jtalty@al.com, al, "With Big Ten on ‘cusp’ of canceling season, SEC holding firm," 10 Aug. 2020 Given the unlikelihood that the league plays the rest of the regular season and Sekera’s platoon with Roman Polak on the blue line, the Stars should be safe from this bonus. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "How the NHL’s suspension could impact Stars’ available salary cap next season," 30 Mar. 2020 Snodgrass also encouraged schools to cancel trips involving out-of-state travel, despite the unlikelihood of receiving a refund. Shelby Dermer, Cincinnati.com, "OHSAA issues no-contact period; spring sports tentatively scheduled for April 6," 13 Mar. 2020 The sadness lies in the recognizing of the unlikelihood of anything getting much better anytime soon, what with the slush and the sleet and the coming storm. Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, "The Impeachment Hearings and the Coming Storm," 6 Dec. 2019 Recognize that these possibilities exist in your life, rather than focusing on the unlikelihood of specific plot points that led the protagonists there. NBC News, "Here's why it feels so good to watch those Hallmark holiday movies," 16 Nov. 2019 And sometimes the fascination lay in the sheer unlikelihood of such an author existing at all, amid the most inauspicious circumstances: a houseful of children, a ne’er-do-well husband, a spindly desk in a drafty hallway. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, "The Women Who Helped Build Hollywood," 28 Oct. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of unlikelihood

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Last Updated

19 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unlikelihood.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unlikelihood. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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How to pronounce unlikelihood (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unlikelihood

: the chance that something will not happen or not be true : the quality or state of being unlikely

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