# probability

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## Probability

The relative likelihood of a particular outcome among all possible outcomes.

## probability

the likelihood of a particular uncertain event occurring, measured on a scale from 0.0 (such an event is impossible) to 1.0 (such an event is certain to occur). People generally estimate probabilities on the basis of the relative frequency with which an event has occurred in the past, under given circumstances, and generalize from this past experience. In some circumstances it is easy to estimate the proportion of occasions on which an event occurs; for example, the probability of getting ‘heads’ when flipping a balanced coin is 0.5 because with such a coin in the long run we would get 50% ‘heads’ and 50% ‘tails’. In estimating probabilities in business situations, though, there may be no or only a few previous experiences that can be used to gauge the relative frequency of an event occurring. See also RISK AND UNCERTAINTY.
References in periodicals archive ?
THE odds against an ocean-wide tsunami in the next 70 years are only two-to-one, an expert has warned.
MIKE GOTTFRIED, former Kansas coach and current ESPN college football analyst, on learning that the odds against the Jayhawks winning the Big Eight title are 100 to 1: "Who's the one guy who thinks we can do it?
In addition to his novels, Killens wrote numerous short stories, plays and scripts; he was the first African American to receive solo screenplay credit for a Hollywood movie, the 1959 Odds Against Tomorrow.
The odds against winning one of the coveted Rhodes Scholarships are daunting.
Now Ladbrokes are offering short odds against a future Peter Jackson-directed version of Rings 'prequel' The Hobbit being a triumph.
The odds against two players hitting successive holes-in-one are almost five times longer than hitting the jackpot on the lottery.
The odds against success at Inchon, one adviser said, were 5,000 to one.
To say we've beaten the odds against success is an understatement.
Las Vegas bookies probably would have given Sperling 100-to-1 odds against his business, but he not only survived, he grew the Apollo Group--parent of University of Phoenix and related interests--into a public company with a market capitalization (as of May 2001) of almost \$7 billion, making it roughly as successful as many vastly more publicized dot-com champions.
In developing countries, a child born to a mother infected with HIV--the AIDS virus--faces long odds against survival.
Looks like the rest of us should do the same, and stack the odds against heart disease and colon cancer even higher in our favor.
That would seem to lengthen the odds against Kentridge and Gordon (who is further handicapped by having already won a Turner).

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