• synonyms


[prob-uh-buh-liz-uh m]
  1. Philosophy. the doctrine, introduced by the Skeptics, that certainty is impossible and that probability suffices to govern faith and practice.
  2. Roman Catholic Theology. a theory that in cases of doubt as to the lawfulness of an action, it is permissible to follow a sound opinion favoring its lawfulness.
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Origin of probabilism

From the French word probabilisme, dating back to 1835–45. See probable, -ism
Related formsprob·a·bi·list, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for probabilism

Historical Examples

  • Again, the doctrine of probabilism is utterly misunderstood.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 15, Slice 3


  • The doctrine of Probabilism is connected with the promulgation of law.

  • He is famous for his antagonism to the doctrine known as Probabilism, as he advocated Probabiliorism.

    The Jesuits, 1534-1921

    Thomas J. Campbell

  • The doctrine of probabilism is founded upon the distinctions between opinions that are sure, less sure, or more sure.

  • Probabilism has to do only with the existence, interpretation, or applicability of a law, not with the differentiation of actions.

British Dictionary definitions for probabilism


  1. philosophy the doctrine that although certainty is impossible, probability is a sufficient basis for belief and action
  2. the principle of Roman Catholic moral theology that in a situation in which authorities differ as to what is the right course of action it is permissible to follow any course which has the support of some authority
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Derived Formsprobabilist, noun, adjectiveprobabilistic, adjectiveprobabilistically, adverb
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