ADJ-GRADED: usu v-link ADJ, oft ADJ to-inf, it v-link ADJ that
If you say that something is unlikely to happen or unlikely to be true, you believe that it will not happen or that it is not true, although you are not completely sure.

A military coup seems unlikely...

As with many technological revolutions, you are unlikely to be aware of it...

It's now unlikely that future parliaments will bring back the death penalty...

In the unlikely event of anybody phoning, could you just scribble a message down?


English dictionary. 2008.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Unlikely — Un*like ly, a. 1. Not likely; improbable; not to be reasonably expected; as, an unlikely event; the thing you mention is very unlikely. [1913 Webster] 2. Not holding out a prospect of success; likely to fail; unpromising; as, unlikely means.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Unlikely — Un*like ly, adv. In an unlikely manner. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • unlikely — [unlīk′lē] adj. [ME unlikly, prob. based on ON ūlīkligr] 1. not likely to happen or be true; improbable 2. not likely to succeed; not promising adv. improbably [he may, not unlikely, join us] unlikelihood n. unlikeliness …   English World dictionary

  • unlikely — index disputable, doubtful, dubious, implausible, impossible, incredible, infeasible, unbelievable, unfit …   Law dictionary

  • unlikely — late 14c., not likely to occur, from UN (Cf. un ) (1) + LIKELY (Cf. likely). Cf. O.N. ulikligr, M.Da. uligelig. Meaning not likely to be true is recorded from 1590s …   Etymology dictionary

  • unlikely — [adj] not probable absurd, contrary, doubtful, dubious, faint, implausible, improbable, inconceivable, incredible, not likely, out of the ordinary, outside chance, questionable, rare, remote, slight, strange, unbelievable, unconvincing, unheard… …   New thesaurus

  • unlikely — ► ADJECTIVE (unlikelier, unlikeliest) ▪ not likely; improbable. DERIVATIVES unlikelihood noun …   English terms dictionary

  • unlikely */*/*/ — UK [ʌnˈlaɪklɪ] / US adjective Word forms unlikely : adjective unlikely comparative unlikelier superlative unlikeliest 1) a) not likely to happen I think her coming back is a pretty unlikely prospect. unlikely to do something: He s unlikely ever… …   English dictionary

  • unlikely — un|like|ly [ ʌn laıkli ] adjective *** 1. ) not likely to happen: I think her coming back is a pretty unlikely prospect. unlikely to do something: He s unlikely ever to find a job again. unlikely (that): It seems unlikely that she will make the… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • unlikely — un|like|ly W2S2 [ʌnˈlaıkli] adj 1.) not likely to happen ▪ Donna might be able to come tomorrow, but it s very unlikely . unlikely to do sth ▪ The weather is unlikely to improve over the next few days. it is unlikely (that) ▪ It s unlikely that… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • unlikely — adj. 1) (cannot stand alone) unlikely to + inf. (they are unlikely to accept our invitation) 2) unlikely that + clause (it s unlikely that she will attend) * * * [ʌn laɪklɪ] unlikely that + clause (it s unlikely that she will attend) (cannot… …   Combinatory dictionary