Definition of probable in English:



  • often with clause Likely to happen or be the case.

    ‘it is probable that the economic situation will deteriorate further’
    ‘the probable consequences of his action’
    • ‘Charges, and probable arrest, were foreseen as the next step, but that hasn't happened yet.’
    • ‘The crucial try in the 52nd minute that actually suggested an Irish win was more probable than possible and not just rhetoric came from one of his breaks.’
    • ‘The only recoverable losses were those which the public officer had foreseen as the probable consequence of his act.’
    • ‘It is very probable that both teams will play a two-man full forward line, thus ensuring a high scoring game.’
    • ‘I am letting my heart lead the way even when I know the possible and probable outcomes.’
    • ‘She plots every possible reaction to every probable action.’
    • ‘The probable consequence of prosecuting pregnant women who use cocaine is that such women will try to avoid getting caught.’
    • ‘A more probable explanation for some injuries was that they were caused by blows and kicks.’
    • ‘It's very probable that the same thing is going on in Indonesia now.’
    • ‘It appears probable that similar subsidies will also play a large role on the Internet.’
    • ‘It is also not very probable that his nomination would often be overruled.’
    • ‘The Environmental Protection Agency listed formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen in 1987.’
    • ‘The possibility of a secret romance may appeal to you but you should consider what the probable consequences might be.’
    • ‘Although that scenario is not probable it is a possible area of conflict and frustration for the consumer.’
    • ‘Well of all the ways to end the day this had not been on my list of probable possibilities.’
    • ‘How do they regard the social scientist: as potential friend or probable foe?’
    • ‘‘It's possible and indeed quite probable that she stopped in there,’ he added.’
    • ‘Pregnancy is a possible consequence of sex and a probable consequence of unprotected sex.’
    • ‘He did not consider erosion or corrosion as likely or probable causes.’
    • ‘Thailand last week reported its first probable case of human-to-human transmission of the virus.’
    likely, most likely, odds-on, expected, to be expected, anticipated, predictable, foreseeable, ten to one, presumed, potential, credible, quite possible, possible, feasible
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  • A person who is likely to become or do something, especially one who is likely to be chosen for a team.

    ‘Merson and Wright are probables’
    • ‘According to Pakistan Cricket Board sources, Azhar may well join the Asia Cup probables camp starting here on Monday.’
    • ‘The federation has also decided to replace three players from the list of Olympic probables.’
    • ‘Even in the list of 36 probables for the training camp, only two Mumbai players have figured!’
    • ‘The beefy 22-year-old went through the motions with the Indian hockey team probables at the Army Public School ground at Daghshai on Monday.’
    • ‘For a few days in late June/early July, an unusual group was deputed for commando training - the 28 probables of India's national hockey team.’
    • ‘O'Connor, who took this prize four years ago, is among three probables from Henderson's team.’
    • ‘Ideally, the coach should have watched the knockout stages of all these tournaments before deciding on the probables list.’
    • ‘She was immediately selected as one among the 18 probables for the Kerala team.’
    • ‘‘We've a confidential list of probables, possibles and maybes in terms of medals,’ confides Donnelly.’
    • ‘He was in the list of the probables for the Indian team for four years and was finally selected to represent the country while he was pursuing medicine in Thanjavur Medical College in 1985.’
    • ‘The national team probables had a rest day on Monday after hectic training sessions for four days in a stretch.’
    • ‘After the Bangalore camp, the selectors had dropped four probables and pruned the list to 20.’
    • ‘Khan said probables for the Pakistan team will play three four-day warm-up matches to prepare for the England series.’
    • ‘You have some teams listing players as probables late in the week, and then they don't play on Sunday.’
    • ‘For the record, he represented India in six ‘Tests’ between 1962 and 66 as left-half and was even amongst the probables for the 1960 Rome Olympics.’
    • ‘Moreover, one doubts whether he has ever had any interaction on hockey matters with the present set of probables.’
    • ‘Only 400m hurdler Sinead Dudgeon, assuming she maintains her 1999 form, can be regarded as a probable to make the journey.’
    • ‘They now rank as probables for the senior panels.’
    • ‘The selectors today had a look at the probables as they played a match among themselves in the six-day final camp for the Asia Cup.’
    • ‘He also underlined that too much fuss should not be created over the teams and probables selected on Sunday.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘worthy of belief’): via Old French from Latin probabilis, from probare ‘to test, demonstrate’.