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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

not bloody likely

Definitely not; I refuse or disagree. A: "Are you going to Jen's party this weekend?" B: "not bloody likely! She's been a total jerk to me lately." Help him, after all the trouble he's given me? Ha, not bloody likely!
See also: bloody, likely, not

not likely

Definitely not; I refuse or disagree. A: "Are you going to Jen's party this weekend?" B: "Not likely! She's been a total jerk to me lately." Help him, after all the trouble he's given me? Ha, not likely!
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 ?
The poll found also found the biggest liabilities for presidential candidates: 51% percent of respondents said they would be less likely to vote for an atheist for president, 42% said they would be less likely to vote for a Muslim candidate, 41% said they were less likely to vote for a candidate who has personal financial troubles.
7-fold more likely to rarely or never wear a bike helmet and 39% more likely to rarely or never wear a seat belt, reported Dr.
The study found they were almost three times more likely to report erectile dysfunction as men of a normal weight and were more likely to say they had picked up a sexuallytransmitted infection.
The report found Latinos are more likely than any other group to be uninsured, noting that about 38 percent of Latino adults and 24 percent of Latino children are uninsured.
Evidence suggests, for instance, that certain people are naturally more likely to be outgoing and optimistic, with high self-esteem and a sense of control over life.
In FIN 48, a tax position is recognized in financial statement reporting when it is more likely than not based on its technical merits, and that the position would be sustained upon examination.
But the report also suggests that discrimination is not always the factor; minorities are far more likely than whites to borrow from companies that specialize in high-rate loans.
Children who attend a quality preschool are more likely to:
This study also found female vegetarians were less likely to have inadequate intakes of folate, vitamin [B.
For the first question, 81 of the 108 participants (75%) correctly answered that all choices were equally likely while only 15 participants (13.
13) The proposed Interpretation explains that "the term 'probable' is used in the sense of paragraph 3(a) of FAS 5 to mean that 'the future event or events are likely to occur.
The combination of low leptin and high ghrelin is likely to increase appetite," says Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study researcher Emmanuel Mignot of Stanford University (though "short sleepers may also have more time to overeat," he points out).
Conflict was most likely to arise over the goods brought to the marriage.
Younger women are likely to be at a particular disadvantage, as documented by a growing body of qualitative research (6,8,10).
The study, based on interviews with 36 large companies in Canada and the United States that spanned many industries, also found that Canadian companies were more likely to have dedicated privacy officers, resources, and training programs.