like|ly1 W1S1 [ˈlaıkli] adj comparative likelier superlative likeliest
[Date: 1300-1400; : Old Norse; Origin: glikligr, from glikr 'like']
1.) something that is likely will probably happen or is probably true
≠ ↑unlikely
Snow showers are likely tomorrow.
likely outcome/effects/consequences etc
What are the likely effects of the law going to be?
the most likely cause of the problem
likely to do/be sth
Children who live in the country's rural areas are very likely to be poor.
more/less/most/least likely
Young drivers are far more likely to have accidents than older drivers.
It is more than likely (=almost certain) the votes will have to be counted again.
It could have been an accident, but that was hardly likely (=not very likely) .
He could offer no likely explanation when I asked him.
2.) [only before noun]
suitable for a particular purpose
the three most likely candidates for president
One likely source of energy is windpower.
3.) a likely story
spoken used to tell someone you do not believe what they have just said
likely 2
likely2 adv
1.) probably
most/very likely
I'd very likely have done the same thing in your situation.
(as) likely as not
spoken (=very probably)
As likely as not, the meeting will take place in the village pub.
2.) not likely!
spoken especially BrE used to disagree strongly, or to say that something will not happen
'He said you'd be giving them a lift.' 'Not likely!'

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • likely — [līk′lē] adj. likelier, likeliest [ME likly, prob. aphetic < OE geliclic (or < ? ON likligr): see LIKE1 & LY1] 1. apparently true to the facts; credible; probable [a likely cause] 2. seeming as if it would happen or might happen; reasonably …   English World dictionary

  • Likely — Like ly, a. [Compar. {Likelier} (l[imac]k l[i^]*[ e]r); superl. {Likeliest}.] [That is, like like. See {Like}, a.] 1. Worthy of belief; probable; credible; as, a likely story. [1913 Webster] It seems likely that he was in hope of being busy and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • likely — 1. As an adverb, likely needs the support of a qualifying or intensifying word such as more, quite, or very (They ve quite likely left by now / It s more likely a toadstool), whereas in AmE it often stands alone: • It is possible to predict that… …   Modern English usage

  • likely — ► ADJECTIVE (likelier, likeliest) 1) such as well might be the case; probable. 2) promising. ► ADVERB ▪ probably. ● a likely story! Cf. ↑a likely story! …   English terms dictionary

  • Likely — may refer to:* Likely, British Columbia, Canada * Likely McBrien (1892 1956), leading Australian rules football administrator in the Victorian Football Leagueee also* Likely Airport …   Wikipedia

  • likely — [adj] probable, apt, hopeful acceptable, achievable, anticipated, assuring, attainable, believeable, conceivable, conjecturable, credible, destined, disposed, expected, fair, favorite, feasible, given to, imaginable, inclined, in favor of,… …   New thesaurus

  • Likely — Like ly, adv. In all probability; probably. [1913 Webster] While man was innocent he was likely ignorant of nothing that imported him to know. Glanvill. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • likely — (adj.) c.1300, perhaps from O.N. likligr likely, from likr like (see LIKE (Cf. like) (adj.)). Old English had cognate geliclic. Meaning having the appearance of being strong and capable is from mid 15c., though now mostly confined to American… …   Etymology dictionary

  • likely — index apparent (presumptive), appropriate, believable, circumstantial, convincing, deductible (provable) …   Law dictionary

  • likely — 1 *probable, possible Analogous words: credible, believable, colorable, *plausible: reasonable, *rational Antonyms: unlikely Contrasted words: *doubtful, dubious, questionable, problematic: * …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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