likely


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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. 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 ?
The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is likely to remain neutral during the month of June.
River Brahmaputra is likely to flow in Moderate to High to Unprecedented flood situation in the districts of Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Golaghat, Nagaon, Morigaon, Kamrup, Goalpara and Dhubri of Assam during 10th to 20th August 2017.
Least likely: To do a trial without a full face of make-up.
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.
You are likely to take some positive steps to conserve money.
Clearly, with the rising number of people with diabetes this is likely to have an effect on already-stretched A&E departments.
Women were more likely to give birth naturally but did have slightly longer labours of, one average, an extra 30 minutes.
(But there's) quite likely to be a delayed start to play.
Hypernetworkers were an adjusted 79% more likely to have tried alcohol, 69% more likely to be current binge drinkers, and 32% more likely to be current users of marijuana.
They were 2.5 times more likely to indicate they had made a suicide attempt, 92% more likely to report feeling depressive sadness, 2.5-fold more likely to have engaged in deliberate self-harm without suicidal intent, 2.2-fold more likely to report feeling a high level of stress, and 3.4-fold more likely to characterize themselves as having an eating disorder.
Compared to non-heavy texters, hyper-texting teens were 40 per cent more likely to have tried cigarettes, twice as likely to have tried alcohol, 43 per cent more likely to be binge drinkers and 41 per cent more likely to have used illicit drugs than their counterparts who did not text as much.
Overweight girls (those in the 85th-95th percentile for body mass) were 60% more likely to report having sex before age 13 years, 30% more likely to report more than three lifetime sexual partners, 18% less likely to say they used condoms, and 33% less likely to say they used contraception, compared with normal-weight girls, Dr.
They may also be more likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes and blood clots, according to the study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
WOMEN who have had just one miscarriage are more likely to suffer complications in future pregnancies, research suggests today.
Victims of domestic violence, especially women, are more likely to have chronic health conditions, including heart disease and asthma, according to a report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.