English Dictionary

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likely (ˈlaɪklɪ



  1. (usually followed 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, mainly US) attractive, agreeable, or enjoyable   ⇒  ■ her likely ways won her many friends



  1. probably or presumably
  2. See as likely as not

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

Word Origin

C14: from Old Norse līkligr


View thesaurus entry
= inclined, disposed, prone, liable, tending, apt
= probable, expected, anticipated, odds-on, on the cards, to be expected
= probably, no doubt, presumably, in all probability, like enough (informal), doubtlessly, like as not (informal)

Translations for 'likely'

  • British English: likely You use likely to indicate that something is probably true or will probably happen in a particular situation.When people see that something actually works, they are much more likely to accept change.ˈlaɪklɪ ADJECTIVE
  • Arabic: مُحْتَمَلٌ
  • Brazilian Portuguese: provável
  • Chinese: 很可能的
  • Croatian: vjerojatno
  • Czech: pravděpodobný
  • Danish: sandsynlig
  • Dutch: waarschijnlijk
  • European Spanish: probable
  • Finnish: todennäköinen
  • French: probable
  • German: wahrscheinlich
  • Greek: πιθανός πιθανή
  • Italian: probabile
  • Japanese: ・・・しそうな
  • Korean: 있을 법한
  • Norwegian: sannsynlig
  • Polish: prawdopodobny prawdopodobna
  • Portuguese: provável
  • Romanian: probabil probabil, probabilă, probabili, probabile
  • Russian: возможный возможная
  • Spanish: probable
  • Swedish: sannolik sannolikt
  • Thai: เป็นไปได้
  • Turkish: olası
  • Ukrainian: ймовірний
  • Vietnamese: có thể xảy ra

Example Sentences Including 'likely'

In a forest grave, most likely , he thought bitterly, not dug by human hands.
Were it not for Adrina, Cratyn would more than likely have ignored the Hythrun refusal to surrender.
Jennifer Fallon TREASON KEEP (2001)
I said last time that his growing confidence is likely to be his downfall.
Anthony Masters CASCADES - THE DAY OF THE DEAD (2001)


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