Meaning of PROBABILITY in English

prob ‧ a ‧ bil ‧ i ‧ ty /ˌprɒbəˈbɪləti, ˌprɒbəˈbɪlɪti $ ˌprɑː-/ BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ probability , ↑ probable ; adverb : ↑ probably ≠ ↑ improbably ; adjective : ↑ probable ≠ ↑ improbable ]

1 . [uncountable and countable] how likely something is, sometimes calculated in a mathematical way SYN likelihood , chance

the probability of (doing) something

The probability of winning the lottery is really very low.

probability that

There is a 95% probability that she will not have the disease.

high/strong probability

There’s a high probability that the children will follow a different career.

You must decide whether, on the balance of probabilities, he committed the crime.

2 . [singular] what is likely or something that is likely:

The probability is that smaller businesses will not have to pay the tax.

A peace agreement now seems a probability rather than a possibility.

3 . in all probability very probably:

Mistakes could and, in all probability, would occur.

• • •


■ adjectives

▪ high

This method of treatment has a high probability of success.

▪ low

The probability of being struck by lightning is pretty low.

▪ a strong probability (=a high probability)

There is a strong probability that the letter has been destroyed.

▪ an equal probability

Each new baby has an approximately equal probability of inheriting maleness or femaleness.

▪ the statistical probability

The statistical probability of a plane crash is increasing.

■ phrases

▪ on the balance of probabilities (=considering the probability of two or more events)

A decision about removing a child from its parents is made on the balance of probabilities.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.