Meaning of “unlikely” in the English Dictionary

"unlikely" in British English

See all translations


uk /ʌnˈlaɪ.kli/ us /ʌnˈlaɪ.kli/

unlikely adjective (NOT PROBABLE)

B1 not probable or likely to happen:

[ + (that) ] It's pretty unlikely (that) they'll turn up now - it's nearly ten o'clock.

More examples

  • The lack of evidence means that the case is unlikely to go to court.
  • The government is unlikely to agree to the rebels' demands for independence.
  • Such unpopular legislation is unlikely to be introduced before the next election.
  • Let's face it, our team is most unlikely to win.
  • This film is unlikely to attract large audiences unless it is given a big push in the media.

(Definition of “unlikely” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"unlikely" in American English

See all translations


us /ʌnˈlɑɪk·li/

not expected to happen; not likely:

[ + (that) clause ] It’s unlikely (that) we will ever learn what happened.

(Definition of “unlikely” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)