American English

Definition of likely adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (likelier, likeliest)
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  1. 1more likely and most likely are the usual forms probably true or probably going to happen; expected the most likely outcome likely (to do something) Tickets are likely to be expensive. likely (that…) It's more than likely that the thieves don't know how much it is worth. They might refuse to let us do it, but it's hardly likely. Language Bankexpectdiscussing predictions The number of people using cell phones to purchase goods and services is expected/likely to more than double by the end of 2015. Experts have predicted/forecast that the number of people using their cell phones to pay for goods and services should exceed 190 million in 2015. This figure is set to reach 200 million by 2016. By 2015, 800 million cell phone users worldwide will be participating in social networks via their phone. Sales of cell phones in 2010 were lower than expected. The company's announcement of 1.26 billion handsets sold for the year is in line with predictions.
  2. 2seeming suitable for a purpose synonym promising She seems the most likely candidate for the job.
  3. Idioms
    a likely story (informal) (ironic)
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    used to show that you do not believe what someone has said You just found it lying in the street? A likely story!
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: likely