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[lahyk-lee-hoo d] /ˈlaɪk liˌhʊd/
the state of being likely or probable; probability.
a probability or chance of something:
There is a strong likelihood of his being elected.
Archaic. indication of a favorable end; promise.
Also, likeliness.
Origin of likelihood
1350-1400; Middle English liklihood. See likely, -hood
Related forms
superlikelihood, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for likelihood
  • This, they reckon, will increase the likelihood that a chance encounter will prove valuable.
  • The likelihood of that happening would be roughly the same.
  • As the likelihood of suspensions increases, students' chances of making it to college decrease.
  • They can also explore their genetic likelihood of developing deep-vein thrombosis, skin cancer or glaucoma.
  • There is no tested science in support of the claim of increased likelihood of severe weather.
  • The actual likelihood of getting hired depends on the school you attend and the demand for people in your area.
  • The map could be used to forecast the likelihood of the giant waves' appearance.
  • The study also said the likelihood of interference is low.
  • He may even have accepted the likelihood of separation.
  • Reusing plastic drink bottles is not recommended, as it increases the likelihood of impurities due to the introduction.
British Dictionary definitions for likelihood


the condition of being likely or probable; probability
something that is probable
(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 likelihood See also maximum likelihood
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 likelihood

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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