Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Likely to happen or to be true: War seemed probable in 1938. The home team, far ahead, is the probable winner.
  • adj. Likely but uncertain; plausible.
  • adj. Theology Of or relating to opinions and actions in ethics and morals for whose lawfulness intrinsic reasons or extrinsic authority may be adduced.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Likely or most likely to be true.
  • adj. Likely to happen.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Capable of being proved.
  • adj. Having more evidence for than against; supported by evidence which inclines the mind to believe, but leaves some room for doubt; likely.
  • adj. Rendering probable; supporting, or giving ground for, belief, but not demonstrating

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Capable of being proved; provable.
  • Having more evidence for than against, or evidence which inclines the mind to belief, but leaves some room for doubt; likely.
  • Rendering something likely, or showing it to be likely: as, probable evidence; a probable presumption.
  • Plausible; specious; colorable.
  • Synonyms Presumable, credible, reasonable.
  • n. A probable opinion; an opinion resting upon good but not sufficient grounds.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. apparently destined
  • adj. likely but not certain to be or become true or real
  • n. an applicant likely to be chosen

Etymologies

Middle English, plausible, from Old French, from Latin probābilis, from probāre, to prove; see prove.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French probable, from Latin probabilis ("that may be proved, credible"), from probare ("to test, examine"); see probe, prove. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • _comparatively_ probable, when after hearing all the reasons and all the authorities on the other side, the said opinion still remains _not unlikely_, which is all that we mean to say of an opinion here, when we call it _probable_.

    Moral Philosophy

  • ATP and its independent third party reservoir engineers use the term "probable" to describe volumes of reserves potentially recoverable through additional drilling or recovery techniques that, by their nature, are more speculative than estimates of proved reserves.

  • It's really early to speculate on the final cause and the federal investigators will spend weeks, months, who knows how long it will take before they'll come up with what they call probable cause.

    CNN Transcript Oct 12, 2006

  • That's why we're reporting that we have what we call probable developed producing because those -- that additional 4% recovery that's associated with Phases 1 and 2 that have been developed, all the money invested and they're now in the producing status.

  • There probable is a lot of reason that she wantto get out of being governor, but we will not know until years from now.

    Palin's strength lies in the grassroots

  • Just over 100 have been deemed carcinogens, 59 are called probable carcinogens, and 266 others are possible ones.

    Weighing cancer risks, from cellphones to coffee

  • What does seem very probable is that my consumption will increase over time as the various types of online content increase in size and I doubt TW will adjust as quickly as the market.

    Time Warner Cable Says It Singled Out Austin’s Geeks

  • How probable is this scenario for the Shuttle or for the Ares 1?

    Ares 1 Abort Study Update - NASA Watch

  • Possibly, but more probable is whack job Pat Robertson announcing that Hawaii is being punished by God for allowing the Barack Obama birth certificate cover up.

    Think Progress » Rep. Trent Franks: African-Americans were better off under slavery.

  • A reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed, and that you are the person who committed it, is called probable cause.

    Raw Law

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