Definition of improbable in English:



  • 1Not likely to be true or to happen.

    ‘this account of events was seen by the jury as most improbable’
    • ‘No matter how improbable it may seem to you in this terrible time, someday you will laugh again.’
    • ‘I personally do not find the idea inherently improbable.’
    • ‘The proposition is that everything is possible - no matter how improbable, if you devise the correct marketing strategy.’
    • ‘My mind raced through one improbable scenario after the next.’
    • ‘What follows in the film is one improbable set-up after another, until it ends with the most ludicrous ending ever.’
    • ‘And yet, improbable as it had seemed for most of the afternoon, they won.’
    • ‘Before we knew it, we were celebrating one of the greatest and most improbable victories of all time.’
    • ‘As improbable as it may sound, even the construction business is turning to outsourcing.’
    • ‘Well, it's a theory, an improbable one, but harmless fun to contemplate.’
    • ‘A mere year ago this outcome would have been considered wildly improbable.’
    • ‘On any view it seems highly improbable that these funds represent legitimate taxed earnings.’
    • ‘Such constant failure is puzzling, not to mention statistically improbable.’
    • ‘That's an area where it seems improbable to go that fast because it's so congested.’
    • ‘The most improbable of explanations were routinely passed off as worthy of serious consideration.’
    • ‘She is a most improbable superstar, this small, talkative, unshowy, and resoundingly English mother of two.’
    • ‘They don't even seem to be bothered that many of their stories contradict one another or are highly improbable.’
    • ‘These are sitcom characters whose emotional states swing instantly to match the twists and turns of a wholly improbable plot.’
    • ‘There was nothing inherently or apparently improbable or unbelievable about the story given by the Colleys.’
    • ‘Absurd and improbable it may be, but the government is unlikely to worry about lack of majority support.’
    • ‘No flight of fancy was too improbable, no wild accusation too unlikely.’
    unlikely, not likely, doubtful, dubious, debatable, questionable, uncertain
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Unexpected and apparently inauthentic.
      ‘the characters have improbable names’
      • ‘The trainer of the Queen's pigeons, an East Anglian with the improbable name of Carlo Napolitano, was at Sun City.’
      • ‘And they can all wear entirely improbable costumes and still look good.’
      • ‘Going for gold in the ‘most improbable name for a PR bunny’ event is exotic Tiggy Tonks.’
      • ‘They and their two children live nearby in a crazy, book-filled house at the furthest end of an improbable road.’
      • ‘A chap by the improbable name of Monty Nebinger emails to offer his services.’
      • ‘I have a neat piece of software with the improbable name of Delicious Library.’
      inauthentic, unconvincing, unbelievable, incredible, ridiculous, absurd, preposterous
      View synonyms


Late 16th century: from French, or from Latin improbabilis hard to prove, from in- not + probabilis (see probable).