probability


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

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 classic literature ?
Then the next one higher than it, but just beyond it, is called 'MERCY'--in all probability a corruption or familiarisation of the word MERCIA, with a Roman pun included.
It is by falling into fiction, therefore, that we generally offend against this rule, of deserting probability, which the historian seldom, if ever, quits, till he forsakes his character and commences a writer of romance.
As we have no public notoriety, no concurrent testimony, no records to support and corroborate what we deliver, it becomes us to keep within the limits not only of possibility, but of probability too; and this more especially in painting what is greatly good and amiable.
For though every good author will confine himself within the bounds of probability, it is by no means necessary that his characters, or his incidents, should be trite, common, or vulgar; such as happen in every street, or in every house, or which may be met with in the home articles of a newspaper.
If I am right in my own persuasion that such a document as I here describe is at this moment in Admiral Bartram's possession -- a persuasion based, in the first instance, on the extraordinary words that I have quoted to you; and, in the second instance, on purely legal considerations with which it is needless to incumber my letter -- if I am right in this opinion, the discovery of the Secret Trust would be, in all probability, a most important discovery to your interests.
They were interrupted by the entrance of Margaret; and Elinor was then at liberty to think over the representations of her mother, to acknowledge the probability of many, and hope for the justice of all.
In the fullness of his belief that such a thing must be, he mentioned its probability to his wife; and the first time of the subject's occurring to her again happening to be when Fanny was present, she calmly observed to her, "So, Fanny, you are going to leave us, and live with my sister.
They left England with the probability of being nearly a twelvemonth absent.
Gallatin, one of the most enlightened statesmen of our country, was favorably received, but no step was taken in consequence; the President not being disposed, in all probability, to commit himself by any direct countenance or overt act.
Had that gentleman been present, the transfer, in all probability, would not have taken place.
If, contrary to probability, it should be admitted by all the States, that each had a right to a share of this common stock, there would still be a difficulty to be surmounted, as to a proper rule of apportionment.
The probability of incompatible alliances between the different States or confederacies and different foreign nations, and the effects of this situation upon the peace of the whole, have been sufficiently unfolded in some preceding papers.

Full browser ?