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Possible vs. Probable: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sara Rehman || Published on December 15, 2023
"Possible" means something can happen or be true; "probable" means something is likely to happen or be true.

Key Differences

The word "possible" refers to anything that can happen, regardless of its likelihood. "Probable" implies a higher likelihood or chance of something occurring. The essence of "possible" is about capability, while "probable" leans towards expectation.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2023
When saying something is "possible," it means there is at least a minimal chance of it happening. In contrast, labeling something as "probable" suggests a strong belief or evidence that it will occur. "Possible" encompasses a wider range of outcomes than "probable," which is more specific and confident.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2023
"Possible" often carries a neutral or uncertain tone, indicating various outcomes without leaning towards any. "Probable," however, conveys a sense of prediction or anticipation, indicating that something is more likely than not.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 15, 2023
In decision-making, considering what is "possible" entails looking at all options, while focusing on what is "probable" involves prioritizing the most likely scenarios. "Possible" is about open possibilities, while "probable" zeroes in on the most expected one.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2023
In science and statistics, "possible" is used for scenarios that could occur within the established parameters. "Probable," however, is used when evidence or data suggest a particular outcome is more likely than others.
Janet White
Dec 15, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Can happen or be true
Likely to happen or be true
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2023

Likelihood

Any level of likelihood
High likelihood
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2023

Usage

Indicates capability
Indicates expectation or likelihood
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 15, 2023

Tone

Neutral or uncertain
Predictive or anticipatory
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2023

Context

Broad range of outcomes
Specific, expected outcomes
Janet White
Dec 15, 2023
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Possible and Probable Definitions

Possible

Within the limits of ability, capacity, or realization.
Achieving top grades is possible with hard work.
Sara Rehman
Nov 21, 2023

Probable

Supported by evidence or reasoning.
His success is probable given his track record.
Sara Rehman
Nov 21, 2023

Possible

Capable of happening or existing.
It's possible that it will rain tomorrow.
Sara Rehman
Nov 21, 2023

Probable

Greater than 50% likelihood.
It's probable that it will rain tonight.
Janet White
Nov 21, 2023

Possible

Conceivable; imaginable.
A trip to Mars is possible in the future.
Harlon Moss
Nov 21, 2023

Probable

Likely to happen or be true.
It's probable that she will win the election.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 21, 2023

Possible

Open to doubt; not certain.
It's possible he might not come to the party.
Sara Rehman
Nov 21, 2023

Probable

Appearing to be true or real.
It's probable that the story is just a rumor.
Harlon Moss
Nov 21, 2023

Possible

Permissible; allowable.
It's possible to take a break now if you need it.
Sara Rehman
Nov 21, 2023

Probable

Likely but not certain to be or become true or real.
A promotion is probable next year.
Sara Rehman
Nov 21, 2023

Possible

Capable of happening, existing, or being true without contradicting proven facts, laws, or circumstances
Is it possible to move faster than the speed of light?.
Sara Rehman
Nov 19, 2023

Probable

Likely to happen or to be true
War seemed probable in 1938. The home team, far ahead, is the probable winner.
Sara Rehman
Nov 19, 2023

Possible

Capable of becoming or of being made to be so; potential
Possible suspects in the case.
A possible site for the new capital.
Sara Rehman
Nov 19, 2023

Probable

Likely but uncertain; plausible.
Sara Rehman
Nov 19, 2023

FAQs

Can 'possible' be used in all contexts?

Yes, it's versatile and applicable in various scenarios.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2023

Is 'possible' a positive term?

It's neutral, neither inherently positive nor negative.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2023

What does 'possible' mean?

It refers to something that can happen or be true, without indicating likelihood.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2023

Is 'possible' subjective or objective?

It can be both, depending on context and perspective.
Janet White
Dec 15, 2023

Can 'possible' be quantified?

Not specifically, as it covers a broad range of likelihoods.
Janet White
Dec 15, 2023

Is 'probable' a guarantee?

No, it suggests likelihood but not certainty.
Harlon Moss
Dec 15, 2023

Does 'possible' indicate a high chance?

No, it just indicates something is not impossible.
Harlon Moss
Dec 15, 2023

How does 'probable' differ from 'possible'?

It indicates a higher likelihood than just 'possible'.
Harlon Moss
Dec 15, 2023

Is 'possible' always likely?

No, 'possible' just means it can occur, not that it is likely.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 15, 2023

How does 'possible' relate to certainty?

It implies uncertainty, as it doesn't assure an outcome.
Janet White
Dec 15, 2023

Does 'probable' imply evidence?

Typically, it suggests some form of reasoning or evidence.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2023

How is 'probable' used in predictions?

To denote what is most likely to occur.
Harlon Moss
Dec 15, 2023

How do probabilities impact decision-making?

They guide decisions towards the most likely outcomes.
Harlon Moss
Dec 15, 2023

Does 'possible' imply feasibility?

Yes, it suggests that something can feasibly occur.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2023

What does 'probable' mean?

It means something is likely to happen or be true.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 15, 2023

How is 'possible' used in planning?

It's used to consider all potential scenarios.
Sara Rehman
Dec 15, 2023

Can 'probable' be quantified?

Often, especially in statistical contexts.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 15, 2023

Is 'probable' subjective?

It can be, depending on evidence or perspective.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 15, 2023

Can 'probable' change over time?

Yes, as new information or conditions arise.
Harlon Moss
Dec 15, 2023

Is 'probable' a definitive statement?

Not entirely; it's strong but not absolute.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 15, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

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