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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Likely


LI'KELY, adjective [that is, like-like.]

1. Probable; that may be rationally though or believed to have taken place in time past, or to be true now or hereafter; such as is more reasonable than the contrary. A likely story, is one which evidence, or the circumstances of the case render probable, and therefore credible.

2. Such as may be liked; pleasing; as a likely man or woman.

[This use of likely is not obsolete, as Johnson affirms, nor is it vulgar. But the English and their descendants in America differ in the application. The English apply the word to external appearance, and with them, likely is equivalent to handsome, well formed; as a likely man, a likely horse. In America, the word is usually applied to the endowments of the mind, or to pleasing accomplishments. With us, a likely man, is a man of good character and talents, or of good dispositions or accomplishments, that render him pleasing or respectable.]

LI'KELY, adverb Probably.

While man was innocent, he was likely ignorant of nothing important for him to know.