Likelihood vs. Probability

Difference Between Likelihood and Probability

Probability and Likelihood are two words that are often confused as the words that have the same connotations. In the true sense of meaning, they are completely different words that have different meanings.

The term ‘probability’ refers to the possibility, while ‘likelihood’ refers to ‘chance’. This is the main difference between the two words, namely, probability and chance.

Look at the two sentences

1. There is a likelihood of thunderstorms tonight.

2. The probability of obtaining red balls from the bag is high.

The use of the term ‘likelihood’ in the first example is indicative of the chance of the occurrence of thunderstorms in the night. In the second sentence the word ‘probability’ indicates that the possibility to take out red balls from the bag is high.

It is interesting to note that the word ‘probability’ is often followed by the preposition ‘of’. At the same time the word ‘Likelihood’ is often followed by the preposition ‘of’. The term ‘probability’ can be written in the adverb form as ‘Probably’ and in the adjective form as ‘Probable’.

On the other hand the adverb form of ‘likelihood’ is ‘likely’ and the adjective form is ‘like’. It should be noted that the word ‘like’ when used as an adjective is used in words in a link like ‘this view’.

The word ‘likelihood’ indicates the direction to be expected ‘as in the phrase ‘in all likelihood ‘. On the other hand the word ‘probability’ indicates that the particular event has a chance of occurrence as in the phrase ‘in all probability’. The word ‘probability’ indicates the direction of ‘the state or condition to be probable. It indicates the chance of something that can be happening. Probability of an event can be mathematically calculated with the help of Permutations and Combinations. Thus the differences between probability and likelihood have been clearly explained in the article.

 

 

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