- the quality or fact of being probable.
- a strong likelihood or chance of something: The probability of the book's success makes us optimistic.
- a probable event, circumstance, etc.: Our going to China is a probability.
- the relative possibility that an event will occur, as expressed by the ratio of the number of actual occurrences to the total number of possible occurrences.
- the relative frequency with which an event occurs or is likely to occur.
- in all probability, very probably; quite likely: The factory will in all probability be relocated.
Origin of probability
Examples from the Web for probability
Probability: 96 percent, unless this spring you finally gave up and ordered central air conditioning, in which case, 15 percent.Let’s Lay Out the Odds on Your Crazy Summer
Kelly Williams Brown
May 25, 2014
A resurrection would be a miracle and as such would defy all “probability.”Do We Know if There Was Really An Empty Tomb?
Bart D. Ehrman
April 19, 2014
The best we can offer is a probability that an earthquake might occur along a fault in a given period of time.A Lot of Earthquakes Have Been Reported Lately, but Scientists Aren’t Worried
April 2, 2014
The meaning of a “probability” estimate can be understood by resorting to the last refuge of political metaphors: sports.You Don’t Need Nate Silver to ‘Predict’ a GOP Win This Fall
March 26, 2014
In all probability, Americans will continue to be killed and wounded, but at a lower rate.Should the Military Pull All Forces Out of Afghanistan After 2014?
Daniel L. Davis
February 28, 2014
Let them ponder on the probability of succeeding with the people.Sunday under Three Heads
Thus doubtless our hostess reasoned, and in all probability she was right.The Roof of France
Then there was some probability of being put in a coaster; which we might run away with.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
The case is the same with the probability of causes, as with that of chance.
So far the probability was against Arthur's being the author.The Channings
Mrs. Henry Wood
- the condition of being probable
- an event or other thing that is probable
- statistics a measure or estimate of the degree of confidence one may have in the occurrence of an event, measured on a scale from zero (impossibility) to one (certainty). It may be defined as the proportion of favourable outcomes to the total number of possibilities if these are indifferent (mathematical probability), or the proportion observed in a sample (empirical probability), or the limit of this as the sample size tends to infinity (relative frequency), or by more subjective criteria (subjective probability)
Word Origin and History for probability
mid-15c., "quality of being probable," from Old French probabilite (14c.) and directly from Latin probabilitatem (nominative probabilitas) "credibility, probability," from probabilis (see probable). Meaning "something likely to be true" is from 1570s; mathematical sense is from 1718.
- A number expressing the likelihood of the occurrence of a given event, especially a fraction expressing how many times the event will happen in a given number of tests or experiments. For example, when rolling a six-sided die, the probability of rolling a particular side is 1 in 6, or 16.
A number between zero and one that shows how likely a certain event is. Usually, probability is expressed as a ratio: the number of experimental results that would produce the event divided by the number of experimental results considered possible. Thus, the probability of drawing the ten of clubs from an ordinary deck of cards is one in fifty-two (1:52), or one fifty-second.
Idioms and Phrases with probability
see in all probability.