likely

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

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 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

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

(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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
Likeliest option: Scott Williams, Jonathan Davies HALF-BACKS Things have suddenly got a whole lot more interesting at No.10!
"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.
Reacting to the news, Frances Tuke, spokesperson for the Association of British Travel Agent (ABTA), said that Tunisia and Morocco were the likeliest destinations to benefit from this trend thanks to the restructuring of the air passenger duty.
That left Silverstone as the likeliest setting for the race, but track officials are stalling over the terms of the contract being offered by Formula One rights holder Ecclestone.
People in Northern Ireland were the likeliest to have a holiday paid for by parents and this group were also the most likely to take a trip with their mothers and fathers in the near future.
Simply strap the AT-5 to a tree, a wood post or a metal fence post and then tilt and pivot the camera angle to cover the likeliest spots.
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.
The FIRST RESPONSE[R] Easy-Read Ovulation Test can predict the two days each month when ovulation is likeliest to happen, helping women get pregnant sooner than without using an ovulation test.
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.