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Meaning & Definition of Likely in English





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"
  • likely

2. Likely but not certain to be or become true or real

  • "A likely result"
  • "He foresaw a probable loss"
  • probable
  • ,
  • likely

3. Expected to become or be

  • In prospect
  • "Potential clients"
  • likely
  • ,
  • potential

4. Within the realm of credibility

  • "Not a very likely excuse"
  • likely


1. With considerable certainty

  • Without much doubt
  • "He is probably out of the country"
  • "In all likelihood we are headed for war"
  • probably
  • ,
  • likely
  • ,
  • in all likelihood
  • ,
  • in all probability
  • ,
  • belike

Examples of using

It's very likely that the bus will be late. Why don't we call a taxi?
Tom is likely to be back soon.
If you spend too much time in the sun without putting on sunscreen, you are likely to get a sunburn.