Definition of improbability in US English:



  • 1The quality of being improbable; unlikelihood.

    ‘his belief in the improbability of war in Europe’
    • ‘No account had been taken of the inherent probability or improbability of what was alleged.’
    • ‘The first is the improbability, the second is the excessive price, of success.’
    • ‘Even if you discount the improbability of such poetically contrived melodrama, there are difficulties with this.’
    • ‘Thus, I have resigned myself to the improbability of finding such a wife.’
    • ‘Some of these stories seem to be collapsing out of sheer improbability.’
    • ‘If there is a scale to determine the degree of improbability then this has to be there right at the top.’
    • ‘I believe that the very concept of complexity as disguised improbability is contrary to facts and logic.’
    • ‘Another point to be made is the psychological improbability of the tale as Krauss relates it.’
    • ‘The physical improbability of the two men having been in the area is pondered.’
    • ‘From this evidence I draw the conclusion that there is no intrinsic improbability in either method.’
    • ‘The paradox of narrative politics is that it is the very improbability of the campaign that gives it plausibility.’
    • ‘They pointed to the improbability of her escape, bound and tied, from a vicious gunman with a dog.’
    • ‘The statements of Jerome have been questioned or disbelieved on the ground of their intrinsic improbability.’
    • ‘The first thing to note about this story is the high improbability factor in many of its key claims.’
    • ‘Despite the fact of the improbability of interplanetary travel, it is not impossible.’
    • ‘A third reason is the improbability of the success rate the Raelians claim.’
    • ‘The first component is the criterion of complexity or improbability.’
    • ‘The cryptic whimsy with which this idea is introduced cannot conceal its improbability.’
    • ‘Arguments of improbability thus become subjective claims.’
    • ‘Natural selection is a mechanism for generating an exceedingly high degree of improbability.’
    unlikelihood, implausibility
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An improbable event.
      ‘the film is full of improbabilities’
      • ‘If it contains improbabilities or absurdities, they are not of his creation.’
      • ‘I drew attention, as have other commentators, to troubling improbabilities in the tremendous watery climax to Eliot's novel.’
      • ‘Even assuming the improbability that all the wounded died, the overall picture does not change.’
      • ‘It all depends how these things actually occur as to whether or not that is an improbability about this account.’
      • ‘It merely piles endless improbabilities upon easy laughs.’
      • ‘Though the movie clearly means well, it falls back on clichés and improbabilities to complete its narrative.’
      • ‘It goes to show that such improbabilities are all integral parts of the unpredictable game called baseball.’
      • ‘An aching back makes smiling a physical improbability.’
      • ‘Despite the improbabilities, catastrophes do happen.’
      • ‘Drama is full of the unexpected, the exceptions that prove the rule, improbabilities that seem entirely natural.’
      • ‘That such intervention is an extreme improbability must be reckoned as another cost of the Iraq war.’
      • ‘The Yankees don't want to trade either, making a deal for him an improbability.’
      • ‘In a season full of improbabilities, anything could happen.’
      • ‘There are some minor ones, primarily in the improbabilities in certain portions of the story.’
      • ‘Today that is a very distant proposition as its realization depends on the conjunction of many improbabilities.’
      • ‘Second, he emphasizes the importance of not being carried away by improbabilities viewed after the event anyway.’
      • ‘This improbability underscores the impossible circumstances in which England puts its poor orphans.’
      • ‘The improbabilities in the film continue to mount.’
      • ‘One could go on poking holes, but the improbabilities are legion.’
      • ‘The separation and this litigation have made that an improbability just as in the Poole case.’