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.
Idioms about probability
in all probability, very probably; quite likely: The factory will in all probability be relocated.
- non·prob·a·bil·i·ty, noun, plural non·prob·a·bil·i·ties.
- su·per·prob·a·bil·i·ty, noun, plural su·per·prob·a·bil·i·ties.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use probability in a sentence
The probability an interval had zero signals was the probability that the first source didn’t emit a signal, 1−p, times the probability the second source didn’t emit a signal, 1−q.
In fact, for cancer, historically, the probability of success is about 5 percent.Will a Covid-19 Vaccine Change the Future of Medical Research? (Ep. 430) | Stephen J. Dubner | August 27, 2020 | Freakonomics
Physicists have algorithms to compute the probabilities of no-loop and one-loop scenarios, but many two-loop collisions bring computers to their knees.The Mathematical Structure of Particle Collisions Comes Into View | Charlie Wood | August 20, 2020 | Quanta Magazine
Simply put, in-market audiences are potential leads that have a high probability of conversion.How to use in-market audiences for better search campaigns | Harikrishna Kundariya | August 18, 2020 | Search Engine Watch
When you were told that your opponent would “play rock or paper with equal probability,” most solvers assumed that meant both probabilities were 50 percent, rather than being equal but less than 50 percent.
probability: 96 percent, unless this spring you finally gave up and ordered central air conditioning, in which case, 15 percent.
A resurrection would be a miracle and as such would defy all “probability.”
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 | Erik Klemetti | April 2, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
First, how come so many people mistake probability estimates for predictions?You Don’t Need Nate Silver to ‘Predict’ a GOP Win This Fall | Jeff Greenfield | March 26, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
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 | Jeff Greenfield | March 26, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
At last there appeared some probability of their accomplishing this, after a most curious and truly Mexican fashion.
But if the Bible was written by men, some of them more or less inspired, then it would not, in all probability be wholly perfect.God and my Neighbour | Robert Blatchford
Had justice been ever taken into account, you and I would, in all probability, not have met on the present business.
We arrive then at this one certain fact, that the flatter the model of a violin the greater the probability of a good fine tone.Violins and Violin Makers | Joseph Pearce
I have not as yet made any inquiry about the probability of getting adventurers for this new concern.Life of Richard Trevithick, Volume II (of 2) | Francis Trevithick
British Dictionary definitions for probability
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)
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
Scientific definitions for probability
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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Cultural definitions for probability
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.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Other Idioms and Phrases with probability
see in all probability.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.