likely

likely
likely (adj.) c.1300, perhaps from O.N. likligr "likely," from likr "like" (see LIKE (Cf. like) (adj.)). Old English had cognate geliclic. Meaning "having the appearance of being strong and capable" is from mid-15c., though now mostly confined to American English; according to OED this sense is perhaps influenced by like (v.). Sense of "good-looking" is from late 15c. Meaning "probably" is attested from late 14c., now principally in American English. As an adverb, late 14c., from the adjective.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • likely — [līk′lē] adj. likelier, likeliest [ME likly, prob. aphetic < OE geliclic (or < ? ON likligr): see LIKE1 & LY1] 1. apparently true to the facts; credible; probable [a likely cause] 2. seeming as if it would happen or might happen; reasonably …   English World dictionary

  • Likely — Like ly, a. [Compar. {Likelier} (l[imac]k l[i^]*[ e]r); superl. {Likeliest}.] [That is, like like. See {Like}, a.] 1. Worthy of belief; probable; credible; as, a likely story. [1913 Webster] It seems likely that he was in hope of being busy and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • likely — 1. As an adverb, likely needs the support of a qualifying or intensifying word such as more, quite, or very (They ve quite likely left by now / It s more likely a toadstool), whereas in AmE it often stands alone: • It is possible to predict that… …   Modern English usage

  • likely — ► ADJECTIVE (likelier, likeliest) 1) such as well might be the case; probable. 2) promising. ► ADVERB ▪ probably. ● a likely story! Cf. ↑a likely story! …   English terms dictionary

  • Likely — may refer to:* Likely, British Columbia, Canada * Likely McBrien (1892 1956), leading Australian rules football administrator in the Victorian Football Leagueee also* Likely Airport …   Wikipedia

  • likely — [adj] probable, apt, hopeful acceptable, achievable, anticipated, assuring, attainable, believeable, conceivable, conjecturable, credible, destined, disposed, expected, fair, favorite, feasible, given to, imaginable, inclined, in favor of,… …   New thesaurus

  • Likely — Like ly, adv. In all probability; probably. [1913 Webster] While man was innocent he was likely ignorant of nothing that imported him to know. Glanvill. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • likely — index apparent (presumptive), appropriate, believable, circumstantial, convincing, deductible (provable) …   Law dictionary

  • likely — 1 *probable, possible Analogous words: credible, believable, colorable, *plausible: reasonable, *rational Antonyms: unlikely Contrasted words: *doubtful, dubious, questionable, problematic: * …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • likely — like|ly1 W1S1 [ˈlaıkli] adj comparative likelier superlative likeliest [Date: 1300 1400; : Old Norse; Origin: glikligr, from glikr like ] 1.) something that is likely will probably happen or is probably true ≠ ↑unlikely ▪ Snow showers are likely… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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