from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The quality or condition of being improbable.
- n. Something improbable.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The quality or state of being improbable; unlikelihood.
- n. That which is improbable; an improbable event or result.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The quality or state of being improbable; unlikelihood; also, that which is improbable; an improbable event or result.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Want of probability; unlikelihood.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. 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.
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.
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.
_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.
Assertions for which there is abundant positive evidence are often disbelieved, on account of what is called their improbability, or impossibility.
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.
Note that Heddle* refers to unity or near unity probability while Collins refers to "improbability".
She must have got hold of some kind of improbability generator as, suddenly, the unexpected became a daily event.
(Compare a creationist's anti-evolution argument based on the "improbability" of human existence.)