1 has a good chance of being the case or of coming about; "these services are likely to be available to us all before long"; "she is likely to forget"; "a likely place for a restaurant"; "the broken limb is likely to fall"; "rain is likely"; "a likely topic for investigation"; "likely candidates for the job" [ant: unlikely]
2 likely but not certain to be or become true or real; "a likely result"; "he foresaw a probable loss" [syn: probable, plausible] [ant: improbable]
3 expected to become or be; in prospect; "potential clients"; "expected income" [syn: expected, potential]
4 within the realm of credibility; "not a very likely excuse"; "a plausible story" [syn: plausible] adv : with considerable certainty; without much doubt; "He is probably out of the country"; "in all likelihood we are headed for war" [syn: probably, in all likelihood, in all probability, belike]
EtymologyMiddle English likly, from Old English gelclc(from gelc, similar), and from Old Norse lkligr(from lkr, similar); see lk- in Indo-European roots.
- probable; having a
good chance of occuring
- Rain is likely later this afternoon.
Possessing or displaying the qualities or characteristics that
make something probable
- They are likely to become angry with him.
believable; having a
- Jones is a likely candidate for management.
- plausible; Within
the realm of credibility
- not a very likely excuse.
Apparently appropriate or suitable
- There were several likely candidates for the job.
- promising; Apt to
achieve success or yield
a desired outcome
- a likely topic for investigation.
- found a likely spot under a shady tree for the picnic.
Usage notesUsed as an adverb likely is most commonly preceded by a modifier such as very or quite: He will quite likely require some help with his classes. But the unmodified use of likely is common enough in educated writing, and though it might be better avoided in highly formal style, it should not be regarded as incorrect: They'll likely buy a new car this year.
In standard English the adverb likely must be used with word such as most,more or very:
- We will most likely see him later.
- We will likely see him later.
- He said that he would likely run for Prime Minister.
probable; having a good chance of occuring
- Finnish: todennäköinen
displaying the qualities or characteristics that make something probable
- Finnish: luultava, todennäköinen
appropriate; believable; having a good potential
- Finnish: mahdollinen, todennäköinen
plausible; within the realm of credibility
- Finnish: uskottava, todennäköinen
suitable; apparently appropriate or suitable
- Finnish: sopiva, todennäköinen
promising; apt to achieve success or yield a desired outcome
- Finnish: lupaava, todennäköinen
- Finnish: miellyttävä
- ttbc Afrikaans: waarskynlik, vermoedelik
like is to smell
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