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.
There is a 95% probability that she will not have the disease.
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.
• • •
This method of treatment has a high probability of success.
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.
▪ 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.