• synonyms


or like·li·ness

[lahyk-lee-hoo d]
See more synonyms for likelihood on Thesaurus.com
  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

Related Words for likeliness

prospect, trend, tendency, possibility, probability, risk, circumstance, hazard, incident, action, opportunity, hope, anticipation, odds, expectation, feasibility, chance, contingency, plausibility, realism

Examples from the Web for likeliness

Historical Examples of likeliness

  • But for likeliness it is referred rather to the father than to the mother.

    The Works of Aristotle the Famous Philosopher


  • Our ignorance is so abysmal that our judgments of likeliness and unlikeliness of future events hardly count.

    The Concept of Nature

    Alfred North Whitehead

British Dictionary definitions for likeliness


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 likeliness



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper