from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The quality or condition of being improbable.
  • noun Something improbable.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Want of probability; unlikelihood.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The quality or state of being improbable; unlikelihood; also, that which is improbable; an improbable event or result.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The quality or state of being improbable; unlikelihood.
  • noun That which is improbable; an improbable event or result.

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

  • noun the quality of being improbable


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • And Chullunder Ghose describes it as "the inside-out-ishness of paradox pursued to ultimate improbability, which is the essence of the quest for truth."


  • The improbability will be the greater, the more complicated the routes; and it will become impossibility, if the zigzags are infinitely complicated.

    Evolution créatrice. English

  • Crowds, being incapable both of reflection and of reasoning, are devoid of the notion of improbability; and it is to be noted that in a general way it is the most improbable things that are the most striking.

    The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind

  • But his improbabilities are rarely psychological, and in some of his plays there occurs one kind of improbability which is no defect, but simply a characteristic which has lost in our day much of its former attraction.

    Shakespearean Tragedy Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth

  • _If, in a story, the characters and the events are truly convincing; if the former are appealingly human and the latter are so carefully devised and described as never to evoke the idea of improbability, then it can make no difference in the_ intellectual pleasure _of the reader whether what he is made to realise so vividly is a record of fact or of mere fancy.

    The Light of Scarthey

  • Assertions for which there is abundant positive evidence are often disbelieved, on account of what is called their improbability, or impossibility.

    A System Of Logic, Ratiocinative And Inductive

  • Note that Heddle* refers to unity or near unity probability while Collins refers to "improbability".

    David Heddle's take on the Fine-Tuning Argument

  • Heddle's argument is more sound since it involves, in practical terms, one single probability, while Collins's use of the word "improbability" implies multiple values of probabilities that can be used and thus a means to calculate them.

    David Heddle's take on the Fine-Tuning Argument

  • She must have got hold of some kind of improbability generator as, suddenly, the unexpected became a daily event.

    BOOK VIEW CAFE BLOG » Where Ideas Come From: Life

  • (Compare a creationist's anti-evolution argument based on the "improbability" of human existence.)

    Archive 2006-11-01


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.