or like·li·ness

[lahyk-lee-hoo d]


the state of being likely or probable; probability.
a probability or chance of something: There is a strong likelihood of his being elected.
Archaic. indication of a favorable end; promise.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for likelihood

Contemporary Examples of likelihood

Historical Examples of likelihood

British Dictionary definitions for likelihood


likeliness (ˈlaɪklɪˌnɪs)


the condition of being likely or probable; probability
something that is probable
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
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper