adjective, likelier, likeliest.
probably or apparently destined (usually followed by an infinitive): something not likely to happen.
seeming like truth, fact, or certainty; reasonably to be believed or expected; believable: a likely story.
seeming to fulfill requirements or expectations; apparently suitable: a likely place for a restaurant.
showing promise of achievement or excellence; promising: a fine, likely young man.
probably: We will likely stay home this evening.

1250–1300; Middle English likli < Old Norse līkligr. See like1, -ly

apt, likely (see synonym study at apt)(see usage note at the current entry).

3. appropriate.

Likely in the senses “probably destined” and “probably” is often preceded by a qualifying word like very, more, or quite: The board is very likely to turn down the request. The new system will quite likely increase profits. However, despite statements to the contrary in some usage guides, likely in these senses is standard without such a qualifier in all varieties of English: It will likely be a bitter debate. The shipment will likely arrive on Thursday. See also apt, liable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
likely (ˈlaɪklɪ)
1.  ( usually foll by an infinitive ) tending or inclined; apt: likely to rain
2.  probable: a likely result
3.  believable or feasible; plausible
4.  appropriate for a purpose or activity
5.  having good possibilities of success: a likely candidate
6.  dialect chiefly (US) attractive, agreeable, or enjoyable: her likely ways won her many friends
7.  probably or presumably
8.  as likely as not very probably
usage  Likely as an adverb is preceded by another, intensifying adverb, as in it will very likely rain or it will most likely rain. Its use without an intensifier, as in it will likely rain is regarded as unacceptable by most users of British English, though it is common in colloquial US English

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, perhaps from O.N. likligr "likely," from likr "like" (adj.). O.E. had cognate geliclic. Meaning "having the appearance of being strong and capable" is from mid-15c., though now mostly confined to Amer.Eng. Sense of "good-looking" is from 1470. Meaning "probably" is attested from late 14c., now
principally in Amer.Eng.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The gas likely burst forth as little as one million to ten million years ago.
Here then are ten of the animals likely to have killed our ancient and not so
  ancient kin.
Non-cheaters were also less likely to believe that their peers had cheated, the
  studies found.
Think about that, and then tell me how likely a double-dip seems.
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