probability

(redirected from perhaps)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, 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 ?
Colin's tantrum had passed and he was weak and worn out with crying and this perhaps made him feel gentle.
I should certainly have never been able to do anything from being magnanimous--neither to forgive, for my assailant would perhaps have slapped me from the laws of nature, and one cannot forgive the laws of nature; nor to forget, for even if it were owing to the laws of nature, it is insulting all the same.
My heart flooded over with tender pity for these poor sweet women--though perhaps chiefly for my own sad lot in not encountering them,--and I conceived a great comprehensive love-poem to be entitled "The Girls that never can be Mine.
She hath married a gentleman, though perhaps not quite her equal in fortune; and if he hath any perfections in her eye which can make up that deficiency, I see no reason why I should object to her choice of her own happiness; which I, no more than herself, imagine to consist only in immense wealth.
The distance was little more than six miles, but the road was strange, and I had to keep stopping to inquire my way; hallooing to carters and clodhoppers, and frequently invading the cottages, for there were few abroad that winter's morning; sometimes knocking up the lazy people from their beds, for where so little work was to be done, perhaps so little food and fire to be had, they cared not to curtail their slumbers.
I will only say that if ever you feel moved to give it to me, perhaps I might help you.
But a grumpy recluse cannot worry his subordinates: whereas the man in whom the sense of duty is strong (or, perhaps, only the sense of self-importance), and who persists in airing on deck his moroseness all day - and perhaps half the night - becomes a grievous infliction.
It is perhaps the last instance of a Pretender's adventure for a Crown that History will have to record with the usual grave moral disapproval tinged by a shamefaced regret for the departing romance.
Perhaps you will not mind the trouble of saying how you learned.
So, perhaps, it would be well to go back and read chapter vii.
And when I stood up to reply, I felt that the few words which I must say would sound, perhaps, ungracious, but they must be said.
Then perhaps you'll do me a favor," continued the white donkey, much excited.