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[im-prob-uh-buh l] /ɪmˈprɒb ə bəl/
not probable; unlikely to be true or to happen:
Rain is improbable tonight.
Origin of improbable
1590-1600; < Latin improbābilis. See im-2, probable
Related forms
improbably, adverb
improbableness, noun
superimprobable, adjective
superimprobableness, noun
superimprobably, adverb
Can be confused
questionable, doubtful, implausible. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for improbable
  • One should not confuse the improbable with the impossible.
  • Yes, and about a thousand other improbable threats too.
  • Even with all of these improbable ducks lining up there's another crucial one that counts.
  • At first glance, this might seem a little improbable.
  • But if he took his burros with him, there's nothing improbable about that final trip eastward.
  • Actually this seems highly improbable and highly implausible.
  • Other motivations such as harming rivals are not likely to maximise profits, and are therefore improbable.
  • The steep headlands are an intense, improbable green.
  • One way to cope with those emotions is to belittle warnings of a pandemic as improbable.
  • Direct military intervention remains improbable because of its likely regional repercussions.
British Dictionary definitions for improbable


not likely or probable; doubtful; unlikely
Derived Forms
improbability, improbableness, noun
improbably, 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
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Word Origin and History for improbable

1590s, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + probable, or else from Latin improbabilis. Related: Improbably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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