One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
sentence adverb In all likelihood; probably.‘some earnest business is afoot belike’
in all likelihood, in all probability, as likely as not, very likely, most likely, likely, as like as not, ten to one, the chances are, doubtless, no doubt, all things considered, taking all things into consideration, all things being equal, possibly, perhaps, maybe, it may be, presumably, on the face of it, apparentlyView synonyms
- ‘Why then, belike we must sin and so consequently die.’
- ‘The roars, belike, would have gradually subsided in dreadful rumblings of more than utterable or conquerable mirth.’
- ‘And thy wife, belike, or thy mother, reared her?’
- ‘The Romans then, flying to the emperor, desired his aid and succour; but he, belike to pleasure the pope, gathering an army, went rather against the Romans.’
- ‘Belike they were not known, or else not used.’
Mid 16th century: from by + like.
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