- probably or apparently destined (usually followed by an infinitive): something not likely to happen.
- seeming like truth, fact, or certainty; reasonably to be believed or expected; believable: a likely story.
- seeming to fulfill requirements or expectations; apparently suitable: a likely place for a restaurant.
- showing promise of achievement or excellence; promising: a fine, likely young man.
- probably: We will likely stay home this evening.
Origin of likely
Synonyms for likelySee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Words for likelierfair, inclined, possible, feasible, reasonable, expected, acceptable, prone, achievable, anticipated, attainable, conceivable, credible, destined, disposed, favorite, imaginable, liable, ostensible, plausible
Examples from the Web for likelier
Historical Examples of likelier
It is an unlikely hypothesis, but I cannot suggest a likelier.Merry-Garden and Other Stories
Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
You saw at a glance which was the likelier man of the two, when they stood opposed.Rhoda Fleming, Complete
I thought it unlikely, and yet likelier than that it should have come from an individual.The Adventures of Harry Richmond, Complete
I never see a likelier lot of rats than what that first haul was.Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Complete
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
It's time somebody younger an' likelier to live longer should know.The Brass Bound Box
- (usually foll by an infinitive) tending or inclined; aptlikely to rain
- probablea likely result
- believable or feasible; plausible
- appropriate for a purpose or activity
- having good possibilities of successa likely candidate
- dialect, mainly US attractive, agreeable, or enjoyableher likely ways won her many friends
- probably or presumably
- as likely as not very probably
Word Origin for likely
c.1300, perhaps from Old Norse likligr "likely," from likr "like" (see like (adj.)). Old English had cognate geliclic. Meaning "having the appearance of being strong and capable" is from mid-15c., though now mostly confined to American English; according to OED this sense is perhaps influenced by like (v.). Sense of "good-looking" is from late 15c. Meaning "probably" is attested from late 14c., now principally in American English.
LIKELY. That may be liked; that may please; handsome. In the United States, as a colloquial term, respectable; worthy of esteem; sensible.--Worcester. [Bartlett]
As an adverb, late 14c., from the adjective.