• synonyms


or like·li·ness

[lahyk-lee-hoo d]
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  1. the state of being likely or probable; probability.
  2. a probability or chance of something: There is a strong likelihood of his being elected.
  3. Archaic. indication of a favorable end; promise.
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Origin of likelihood

First recorded in 1350–1400, likelihood is from the Middle English word liklihood. See likely, -hood
Related formssu·per·like·li·hood, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for likelihood


likeliness (ˈlaɪklɪˌnɪs)

  1. the condition of being likely or probable; probability
  2. something that is probable
  3. statistics the probability of a given sample being randomly drawn regarded as a function of the parameters of the population. The likelihood ratio is the ratio of this to the maximized likelihoodSee also maximum likelihood
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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 likelihood


late 14c., "resemblance, similarity," from likely + -hood. Meaning "probability" is from mid-15c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper