likely

(redirected from likelier)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
Related to likelier: obviously, coyly, wonderfully
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

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. Used to emphatically indicate that one completely refuses or disagrees. 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. Used to emphatically indicate that one completely refuses or disagrees. 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

like as not

Probably; most likely. Emma's a real bookworm—like as not, you'll find her curled up with a book on a Friday night. I'm hoping to get there before dinner, but with trains being so delayed lately, like as not it'll be closer to bed time.
See also: like, not

likely as not

Probably; most likely. During lunch, you'll find Mrs. Smith preparing lessons in her office, as likely as not. Likely as not, we'll just have to pay a fine since we're first time offenders.
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 ?
If they act on their fears, then the worst scenarios become much likelier."
Today's army recruits are still unlikely to come from upper-class families, but a 2005 Heritage Foundation report found that young recruits (ages 18 to 24) are likelier to have a high-school degree than their peers are.
They are five times likelier to use marijuana, three times likelier to drink alcohol and 12 times likelier to smoke cigarettes.
0 TWO goals in the last two minutes condemned Bedworth to a frustrating defeat after they had looked the likelier side for most of the match.
ANDREA DOSSENA's agent has ruled out a return to Italy for the Liverpool defender, claiming that Spain is a likelier destination.
The report found that compared with teens who have frequent family dinners (five or more weekly), those who have infrequent family dinners (fewer than three weekly) are twice as likely to use tobacco or marijuana, more than one and a half times likelier to use alcohol, and twice as likely to expect to try drugs in the future.Additionally, compared with teens who have five to seven family dinners weekly, those who have fewer family dinners weekly are twice as likely to have friends who use marijuana and Ecstasy; more than one and a half times likelier to have friends who drink, abuse prescription drugs and use meth; and almost one and a half times likelier to have friends who use illegal drugs such cocaine, acid and heroin.
(BMI is derived by dividing body weight by the square of a person's height and multiplied by 703.) The study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute, also found that people who were underweight, with a BMI less than 18.5, were 73 percent likelier to die than people of average weight.
The automaker was to launch the model by autumn 2009 but now a likelier launch date is February 2010.
The authors from Durham University (England) say "high caffeine users" were three times likelier than "low caffeine users" to have hallucinatory experiences--voices, imaginary friends, and "the presence of dead people." Of course, it's not just food equals mood--there's the intermediate chemistry of stress, particularly the stress hormone cortisol, which caffeine tends to boost, the paper published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences notes.
Klitschko's brother Wladimir had seemed the likelier opponent but, after talks with both brothers, it was decided Haye would fight elder brother Vitali first.
Women who had been physically or sexually abused were three times likelier to have had suicidal thoughts, and four times likelier to have attempted at least once to take their own lives, the study said.
County were under pressure for much of the second half but they often looked likelier to score with the pace and skill of Craig Reid causing problems for Havant.
That is, if you stop smoking, your friends are likelier than average to quit, and so are your friends' friends, and your friends' friends' friends.
Humans are almost four times likelier to share pathogens with chimpanzees than with colobus monkeys, which branched from the family tree 34.4 million years ago.
He said: "Alloa were dangerous on the break but we always looked the likelier side.