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Related to likeliest: flexibly, went astray, goes astray, likelier

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

*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

as likely as not

probably as like as not She didn't usually work all night, but she was as likely as not to be at the lab at any given time.
See also: likely, not

A likely story.

something that you say when you do not believe that an explanation is true He claims he thought he was drinking low alcohol lager. A likely story. So he was just giving her a friendly hug because she was upset, was he? That's a likely story if ever I heard one.
See also: likely, story

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
References in periodicals archive ?
It is becoming clear that exomoons could be one of the likeliest places to find alien life," said Bill Borucki, an astronomer at Nasa's Ames Research Centre and the principal scientist on the Kepler mission.
The likeliest solutions are raising the melt or die temperature, but increasing roll temperature is another possibility.
Defending champion Barcelona and English champion Chelsea, paired together in Group A, seem the likeliest favorites, but 2005 champ Liverpool, their English rivals Arsenal and Manchester United, Real Madrid and Italian ``champion'' Inter Milan also have solid hopes of playing in the final next May 23 in Athens.
Though terrorism and Mother Nature remain potent and uncertain dangers, it is America's fiscal gluttony and shaky monetary policy that are emerging as the likeliest threats to world stability and peace.
While a disaster itself is often natural, there is nothing natural about the demographics of the likeliest victims.
By so doing, I maintain that the likeliest conclusion would be that the qualification has been made easier to obtain.
An away victory is the likeliest outcome, but betting is all about getting the value and the prices suggest the best value on this game is the draw at around the 9-4 mark.
VW wants to have more production bases in this region and Indonesia is one of the likeliest choices, " Wenda said.
The authors argue that while this gap may have many causes, one of the likeliest is discrimination in mortgage lending.
But Old Trafford remains his likeliest destination - just as we told you all those months ago.
but they do look the likeliest winners over Didier Deschamps' team.
Interfaces between these systems, which often require human intervention, are frequently the points at which errors and fraud are likeliest to occur.
World 1,500 metres finalist Jo Pavey seems the likeliest British woman to challenge the worldclass African runners competing in today's View From Great North Cross Country.
The patterns of genetic diversity point to East Asia as the likeliest place for the canine Eden, Savolainen and his colleagues argue in the Nov.