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Related to likelier: obviously, coyly, wonderfully

likely story

An exclamation of distrust or disbelief in someone's explanation or story. Albert: "Sorry I'm late. My car broke down half way here!" Sarah: "Yeah, likely story! I bet you just wanted to finish watching the football game on TV."
See also: likely, story

(that's a) likely story

A phrase used to express disbelief of an excuse or explanation. He said he had to stay late at the office again. That's a likely story—he's probably out with his friends! The cat ate your science project? Likely story.
See also: likely, story

as likely as not

Probably; most likely. During lunch, you'll find Mrs. Smith preparing lessons in her office, as likely as not.
See also: likely, not

*likely as not

Fig. probably; with an even chance either way. (*Also: as ~.) He will as likely as not arrive without warning. Likely as not, the game will be canceled.
See also: likely, not

Not likely.

Inf. That is probably not so; that probably will not happen. Mary: Is it possible that you'll be able to fix this watch? Sue: Not likely, but we can always try. Sally: Will John show up on time, do you think? Bob: Not likely.
See also: likely, not

in the unlikely event

If something improbable should occur. For example, In the unlikely event that I'm held up, please cover for me, or In the unlikely event that we should have snow in May, we're still well equipped to cope with it . Also see under in case, def. 2.
See also: event, unlikely

like as not

Also, as like as not; as likely as not. In all probability, with an even chance, as in Like as not it'll rain by afternoon, or Likely as not the governor will run for a second term. In the first two terms, like is short for likely in the sense of "probably," that is, "It is as likely as it is not likely." [Late 1800s]
See also: like, not

not likely

People say not likely as an emphatic way of saying no, especially when they are asked to do something. Clear up his mess for him? Not likely!
See also: likely, not

a likely story

used to express disbelief of an account or excuse.
See also: likely, story

not likely!

certainly not; I refuse. informal
See also: not

(as) like as ˈnot


like eˈnough


most/very ˈlike

(informal) quite/very probably: As like as not, he’ll be late. He usually is.
See also: like, not

as ˌlikely as ˈnot


most/very ˈlikely

very probably: As likely as not she’s forgotten all about it.
See also: likely, not

a ˈlikely story

(spoken, ironic) used for showing that you do not believe what somebody has said: They said they’d found the wallet on the ground outside the pub — a likely story!
See also: likely, story

not (bloodytaboo, etc.) ˈlikely!

(spoken, especially British English) used to disagree strongly with a statement or a suggestion: Sign a blank cheque for you? Not bloody likely!
See also: not
References in periodicals archive ?
Actually, having Congress get bogged down in the process of enacting new regulations would be a very desirable outcome: The longer Congress takes to pass such bills, the likelier that they will wither and die before becoming laws; fewer laws would mean a reduction in the hidden tax that is suffocating our business economy and steadily undermining our standard of living.
Gravesend looked the likelier to break the deadlock but spurned their only clear opportunity when Chris Moore was unable to keep his header down from Andrew Drury's free-kick.
The question we have to ask is, is it likelier than not that the exposure that person had has contributed to that person's condition," says Broad.
In order to establish the possibility of trust there is no need to claim that the state of nature is soft rather than hard, nor even that soft is likelier.
Suburbs are much likelier to house African Americans, Latinos, and other recent immigrants today than they were 20 years ago.
5 to two times likelier than other groups of men to commit suicide.
While a prospective buyer might believe that since it is a distressed property he will have the opportunity to "steal" the property, interest is attracted from many bargain-hunting buyers, forcing them into a bidding process whereby fair market value is likelier to be achieved.
The more awareness you promote in your community, the likelier you are to get more players to participate and more parents to become involved.
Brokers said the market has become less affected by speculation about when the central bank will tighten credit, as it has become likelier that its zero-interest rate policy will be prolonged.
A likelier possibility, though, is that the city's political authorities simply ignored the police department's warnings.
This study found that "a child living in a two-parent family, whose relationship with the father is fair or poor, is 68 percent likelier to smoke, drink, and use drugs than teens living in an average two-parent household.
Years after the dreaded evil empire has succumbed to the neon and martini allure of Western capitalism, Americans embrace the end of big government by frantically downsizing social programs instead of taking fiscal aim at a much more bloated, likelier target.
Their 2007 The Importance of Family Dinners IV report found that compared to teens who have five to seven family dinners a week, those who dine with their families fewer than three nights a week are: three-and-a-half times likelier to have abused prescription drugs; three times likelier to have tried marijuana; more than two-and-a-half times likelier to have tried cigarettes and one-and-a-half times likelier to have tried alcohol.
Conclusion Needs to raise his game, but that likelier than not.
20 ( ANI ): Women over the age of 60 are likelier to be admitted to hospital for anxiety, health authority figures have shown.