- not likely to be or occur; improbable; marked by doubt.
- holding little prospect of success; unpromising; likely to fail: He is an unlikely candidate for reelection.
- not ingratiating; objectionable.
- in an unlikely way.
Origin of unlikely
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for unlikely
Harris is unlikely to see a challenge from Villaraigosa, either.The Golden State Preps for the ‘Red Wedding’ of Senate Races
January 9, 2015
We tend to think not, but the rise of King, Kennedy, and Lincoln was unlikely, too.No Gods, No Cops, No Masters
January 1, 2015
It was clear to me that I was unlikely ever to see it again.The Catholic Philosopher Who Took on Hitler
John Henry Crosby
December 26, 2014
But these were technical solutions and unlikely to inspire protests alone.Sharpton Recalls Civil Rights Struggle in DC March Against Police Violence
December 13, 2014
The demonic ‘anti-Santa’ enjoys an unlikely renaissance as we learn to embrace our inner pagan.Meet Krampus, the Seriously Bad Santa
December 5, 2014
The arrangements your father has made is one of provision against the unlikely.Weighed and Wanting
Such a proceeding was not unlikely; it was not, however, the one she adopted.Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I
Francis Augustus Cox
Diligent enquiry there, in likely and unlikely places, proved fruitless.The Inn at the Red Oak
At this time he is not unlikely to eat our sprouting lettuce and peas.The Meaning of Evolution
Samuel Christian Schmucker
Of course there was a chance that he might encounter the latter, but he thought it unlikely.Fair Harbor
Joseph Crosby Lincoln
- not likely; improbable
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for unlikely
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Idioms and Phrases with unlikely
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.