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Probability definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

PROBABIL'ITY, n. [L. probabilitas. See Probable.]
1. Likelihood; appearance of truth; that state of a case or question of fact which results from superior evidence or preponderation of argument on one side, inclining the mind to receive it as the truth, but leaving some room for doubt. It therefore falls short of moral certainty, but produces what is called opinion.
Probability is the appearance of the agreement or disagreement of two ideas, by the intervention of proofs whose connection is not constant, but appears for the most part to be so.
Demonstration produces science or certain knowledge; proof produces belief, and probability opinion.
1. Any thing that has the appearance of reality or truth. In this sense, the word admits of the plural number.
The whole like of man is a perpetual comparison of evidence and balancing of probabilities.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: a measure of how likely it is that some event will occur; a number expressing the ratio of favorable cases to the whole number of cases possible; "the probability that an unbiased coin will fall with the head up is 0.5" [syn: probability, chance]
2: the quality of being probable; a probable event or the most probable event; "for a while mutiny seemed a probability"; "going by past experience there was a high probability that the visitors were lost" [ant: improbability, improbableness]

Merriam Webster's

noun (plural -ties) Date: 15th century 1. the quality or state of being probable 2. something (as an event or circumstance) that is probable 3. a. (1) the ratio of the number of outcomes in an exhaustive set of equally likely outcomes that produce a given event to the total number of possible outcomes (2) the chance that a given event will occur b. a branch of mathematics concerned with the study of probabilities 4. a logical relation between statements such that evidence confirming one confirms the other to some degree

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. (pl. -ies) 1 the state or condition of being probable. 2 the likelihood of something happening. 3 a probable or most probable event (the probability is that they will come). 4 Math. the extent to which an event is likely to occur, measured by the ratio of the favourable cases to the whole number of cases possible. Phrases and idioms: in all probability most probably. Etymology: F probabilité or L probabilitas (as PROBABLE)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Probability Prob`a*bil"i*ty, n.; pl. Probabilities. [L. probabilitas: cf. F. probabilit['e].] 1. The quality or state of being probable; appearance of reality or truth; reasonable ground of presumption; likelihood. Probability is the appearance of the agreement or disagreement of two ideas, by the intervention of proofs whose connection is not constant, but appears for the most part to be so. --Locke. 2. That which is or appears probable; anything that has the appearance of reality or truth. The whole life of man is a perpetual comparison of evidence and balancing of probabilities. --Buckminster. We do not call for evidence till antecedent probabilities fail. --J. H. Newman. 3. (Math.) Likelihood of the occurrence of any event in the doctrine of chances, or the ratio of the number of favorable chances to the whole number of chances, favorable and unfavorable. See 1st Chance, n., 5. Syn: Likeliness; credibleness; likelihood; chance.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(probabilities) 1. The probability of something happening is how likely it is to happen, sometimes expressed as a fraction or a percentage. Without a transfusion, the victim's probability of dying was 100%... The probabilities of crime or victimization are higher with some situations than with others... N-VAR 2. You say that there is a probability that something will happen when it is likely to happen. If you've owned property for several years, the probability is that values have increased... His story-telling can push the bounds of probability a bit far at times. N-VAR [vagueness] 3. If you say that something will happen in all probability, you mean that you think it is very likely to happen. The Republicans had better get used to the fact that in all probability, they are going to lose... PHRASE: PHR with cl [vagueness]

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

n. 1. Likelihood, presumption, appearance of truth, fair chance, favorable chance. 2. Verisimilitude, likeliness, credibleness.

Moby Thesaurus

a thing for, accidentality, actuarial calculation, actuarial prediction, adventitiousness, affinity, aftertime, afteryears, anticipation, apocalypse, aptitude, aptness, bare possibility, bent, best bet, bias, break, by-and-by, cast, casualness, certainty, chance, chances, conatus, conceivability, conceivableness, conduciveness, confidence, contemplation, contingency, course ahead, crystal ball, delight, destiny, determinism, diathesis, disposition, distant future, eagerness, even chance, eventuality, expectancy, expectation, fate, favorable prospect, feeling for, flukiness, foreboding, forecast, forecasting, foreshowing, foresight, foretelling, fortuitousness, fortuity, fortune, forward look, future, future tense, futurism, futurity, gamble, good chance, good fortune, good luck, good opportunity, good possibility, guesswork, hap, happenstance, happy chance, heedless hap, hereafter, hope, how they fall, immediate future, immediate prospect, imminence, improbability, inclination, indeterminacy, indeterminateness, law of averages, leaning, liability, liableness, likelihood, likeliness, liking, lot, luck, main chance, moira, near future, obligation, odds, odds-on, odds-on chance, off chance, offing, omen, opportunity, outlook, outside chance, outside hope, penchant, possibility, possibleness, posteriority, potential, potentiality, prediction, predilection, predisposition, prefiguration, prefigurement, prefiguring, prejudice, presage, presaging, presentiment, preshowing, presignifying, presumption, principle of indeterminacy, problematicness, proclivity, prognosis, prognostication, project, promise, proneness, propensity, prophecy, prophesying, prospect, prospectus, random sample, readiness, reliance, remote possibility, risk, run of luck, sensitivity to, serendipity, small hope, soft spot, soothsay, speculation, sporting chance, statistical prediction, statistical probability, sure bet, sure thing, susceptibility, tendency, the attainable, the breaks, the feasible, the future, the morrow, the possible, the sweet by-and-by, theory of probability, thinkability, thinkableness, thought, time ahead, time just ahead, time to come, tomorrow, tropism, turn, twist, unastonishment, uncertainty, uncertainty principle, vaticination, virtuality, warp, weakness, well-grounded hope, what is possible, what may be, what might be, whatever comes, willingness

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