unlikely

adjective un·like·ly \ ˌən-ˈlī-klē \
|Updated on: 8 Jul 2018

Definition of unlikely

1 : not likely : improbable
  • an unlikely outcome
2 : likely to fail : unpromising

Examples of unlikely in a Sentence

  1. He was an unlikely candidate for the position.

  2. A big city seems like an unlikely place to find wildlife.

  3. I received support from an unlikely ally.

Recent Examples of unlikely from the Web

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

First Known Use of unlikely

14th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1

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UNLIKELY Defined for English Language Learners

unlikely

Definition of unlikely for English Language Learners

  • : not likely

  • : not seeming to be right or suited for a purpose


UNLIKELY Defined for Kids

unlikely

adjective un·like·ly \ ən-ˈlī-klē \

Definition of unlikely for Students

unlikelier; unlikeliest
1 : not likely
  • an unlikely story
2 : not promising
  • This is an unlikely place for fishing.


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