Definition of improbable in US English:

improbable

adjective

  • 1Not likely to be true or to happen.

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

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

Pronunciation

improbable

/imˈpräbəb(ə)l//ɪmˈprɑbəb(ə)l/