Definitions
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
 n. The state of being probable; probability.
 n. Something probable.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/ShareAlike License
 n. The probability of a specified outcome; the chance of something happening; probability; the state of being probable.
 n. Shorthand for likelihood function; the probability that a real world experiment would generate a specific datum, as a function of the parameters of a mathematical model.
 n. Likeness, resemblance.
 n. Appearance, show, sign, expression.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
 n. Appearance; show; sign; expression.
 n. Likeness; resemblance.
 n. Appearance of truth or reality; probability; verisimilitude.
 n. Statistical probability; probability of being true or of occurring in the future.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
 n. The state of being likely or probable; probability; likeliness; promise.
 n. Promising state or appearance; standing; consideration.
 n. That which is probable; a probability; an indication.
 n. Likeness; resemblance; similarity.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
 n. the probability of a specified outcome
Etymologies
Examples

If you are going to be in a dangerous situation, the likelihood is there is somebody standing around with a gun to shoot something ..

But Marcy said that with so many Earthsize planets now expected to be orbiting distant suns  something on the order of 50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 across the universe  the likelihood is high that many are in "habitable zones" where life can theoretically exist.
Scientists estimate tens of billions of Earthsize planets in Milky Way

Rather than challenge the Welsh MPs, the likelihood is that those very MPs will play an important role in the electoral college that will elect the new leader, meaning the candidates will be going out of their way to pet and pamper them.

On the other hand, the greater likelihood is that the current regime will remain in power and, if we want to have NEW dialogue with them, one way of ending the OLD dialogue is opening the door to more amicable personal relationships with their leadership.
Officials: President Obama reconsidering July 4 invitations to Iran

In the previous wheel the likelihood of exceeding 5°C was about 4%, but in the new wheels that likelihood is 57%.
Wonk Room » Global Boiling Roulette: The Margin For Error Is Gone

The weather today into tomorrow yields more of the same unsettled feel with frequently rearranged sky conditions, warm breezes with occasional gusts, and sporadic showers that increase in likelihood tomorrow.

But, I think, if the president doesn't reach across the aisle and actually try to do things on a bipartisan basis, the likelihood is that not a whole lot of legislating will be done.
Cornyn: 'We Need To Keep Expectations... Fairly Modest' About Health Care Repeal (VIDEO)

And I think the greatest likelihood is that he will resurface with some prominent job.

With breakaway goals the likelihood is less, but still possible.

But because having a large majority means, by definition, holding many more vulnerable seats, the likelihood is that Republicans would have lost much more than 15.6 percent of their seats if they'd had another 54 seats to defend, and if unified government had left all the blame on their shoulders.
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