Likely vs Maybe - What's the difference?

likely | maybe |


As adjectives the difference between likely and maybe

is that likely is probable; having a greater-than-even chance of occurring while maybe is possible; uncertain.

As adverbs the difference between likely and maybe

is that likely is (obsolete) similarly while maybe is .

As nouns the difference between likely and maybe

is that likely is something or somebody considered likely while maybe is (informal) something that is possibly true.

likely

English

Adjective

(en-adj)
  • probable; having a greater-than-even chance of occurring
  • Rain is likely later this afternoon.
  • probable
  • They are likely to become angry with him.
  • *{{quote-news, year=2013, date=April 9, author=Andrei Lankov, title=Stay Cool. Call North Korea’s Bluff., work=New York Times citation
  • , passage=People who talk about an imminent possibility of war seldom pose this question: What would North Korea’s leadership get from unleashing a war that they are likely to lose in weeks, if not days?}}
  • appropriate, suitable; believable; having a good potential
  • Jones is a likely candidate for management.
  • plausible; Within the realm of credibility
  • not a very likely excuse.
  • * {{quote-news
  • , year=2011 , date=December 19 , author=Kerry Brown , title=Kim Jong-il obituary , work=The Guardian citation , page= , passage=The DPRK propagated an extraordinary tale of his birth occurring on Mount Baekdu, one of Korea's most revered sites, being accompanied by shooting stars in the sky. It is more likely that he was born in a small village in the USSR, while his father was serving as a Soviet-backed general during the second world war.}}
  • promising; Apt to achieve success or yield a desired outcome
  • a likely topic for investigation.
  • attractive; pleasant
  • found a likely spot under a shady tree for the picnic.
  • Reasonably to be expected; apparently destined.
  • He is likely to succeed at anything he tries.
  • * {{quote-news
  • , year=2011 , date=November 3 , author=Chris Bevan , title=Rubin Kazan 1 - 0 Tottenham , work=BBC Sport citation , page= , passage=In truth, Tottenham never really looked like taking all three points and this defeat means they face a battle to reach the knockout stages -with their next home game against PAOK Salonika on 30 November likely to prove decisive.}}
  • (obsolete) Similar; like; alike.
  • (Spenser)

    Synonyms

    * liable

    Adverb

    (en adverb)
  • (obsolete) Similarly.
  • Probably.
  • *, chapter=1
  • , title= Mr. Pratt's Patients, chapter=1 , passage=Thinks I to myself, “Sol, you're run off your course again. This is a rich man's summer ‘cottage’ and if you don't look out there's likely to be some nice, lively dog taking an interest in your underpinning.”}}

    Usage notes

    * As an adverb, likely is often preceded by a modifier such as (most) or (quite). * Some usage guides consider adverbial likely'' - instead of ''probably - to be poor style and an artificial, sometimes pretentious way to imply a sense of erudition. One can also opt for the somewhat rarer adverbial form likelily.

    Noun

    (likelies)
  • Something or somebody considered likely.
  • maybe

    English

    (wikipedia maybe)

    Alternative forms

    * (l) (obsolete) * (l) (dialectal)

    Adverb

    (-)
  • (as a pro-sentence ) perhaps that is true (expressing no commitment to a decision or a neutral viewpoint to a statement)
  • Usage notes

    * Do not confuse maybe' with ' may be : "Maybe that's true", but "That may be true"

    Synonyms

    * (perhaps) mayhaps, peradventure, perhaps, possibly * (as a pro-sentence) could be, mayhaps, might be, perhaps, possibly, that’s possible

    Derived terms

    * and I don't mean maybe

    Adjective

    (en adjective)
  • Possible; uncertain.
  • Then add those may-be years thou hast to live ? Dryden.

    Noun

    (en noun)
  • (informal) Something that is possibly true.
  • (informal) An answer that shows neither agreement nor disagreement.
  • The results of the poll were inconclusive. We got two yeses, three nos, and four maybes.
  • (informal) A future event that may or may not happen.
  • About your raise: it's a big maybe .

    Synonyms

    * perhaps

    Derived terms

    * definite maybe