Definition of improbable in English:


Line breaks: im|prob¦able
Pronunciation: /ɪmˈprɒbəb(ə)l


  • 1Not likely to be true or to happen: this account of events was seen by the jury as most improbable
    More example sentences
    • No flight of fancy was too improbable, no wild accusation too unlikely.
    • Well, it's a theory, an improbable one, but harmless fun to contemplate.
    • What follows in the film is one improbable set-up after another, until it ends with the most ludicrous ending ever.
    unlikely, not likely, doubtful, dubious, debatable, questionable, uncertain; difficult to believe, implausible, far-fetched, fanciful; unthinkable, inconceivable, unimaginable, unimagined, incredible
  • 1.1Unexpected and apparently inauthentic: the characters have improbable names
    More example sentences
    • A chap by the improbable name of Monty Nebinger emails to offer his services.
    • I have a neat piece of software with the improbable name of Delicious Library.
    • The trainer of the Queen's pigeons, an East Anglian with the improbable name of Carlo Napolitano, was at Sun City.
    inauthentic, unconvincing, unbelievable, incredible, ridiculous, absurd, preposterous; contrived, laboured, strained, forced
    informal hard to swallow



More example sentences
  • Perhaps, more improbably, we learn to abhor violence.
  • Some years ago, I was making a film in Austin, Texas, and I fell into conversation with the improbably tall and very sociable driver who picked me up every day.
  • He grins an improbably toothy grin, winks, and throws his head back and lets out a loud, long, booming laugh.


late 16th century: from French, or from Latin improbabilis 'hard to prove', from in- 'not' + probabilis (see probable).

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