Phrases with "unlikely"

Robert Louis Stevenson They are painters, therefore they are not unlikely to have some smattering of education. The Treasure of Franchard by Robert Louis Stevenson

The second alternative was so unlikely that they permitted themselves to assume the first. Shadows of Ecstasy by Charles Williams

Arthur Conan Doyle There can be no question that Stapleton had a confidant, though it is unlikely that he ever placed himself in his power by sharing all his plans with him. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle [1902]

And we were taking it in turn to think up unlikely things to toast. The Singing Sands by Josephine Tey [1952]

H. G. Wells We sought unlikely places at unlikely times in order to get queer impressions of them. An Experiment in Autobiography by H. G. Wells

John Stuart Mill All causes, social and natural, combine to make it unlikely that women should be collectively rebellious to the power of men. The Subjection of Women by John Stuart Mill [1869]

George Meredith Chillon gained a round view of the worthy simple fellow, unlikely to turn out impracticable, for he talked such good sense upon matters of business. The Amazing Marriage by George Meredith [1895]

How it had been brought there, or why it should have been brought there, or who had brought it to such an unlikely place, were questions hard to answer. The Green Mummy by Fergus Hume

He has never been, it is unlikely that he ever will be, a popular writer. Books and Characters by Lytton Strachey

George Gissing Had he known that the words were found in Martial, his rebellious spirit would have enjoyed the consecration of a phrase from such an unlikely author. Born in Exile by George Gissing [1891]

It was extremely unlikely that, after such a journey, she would have gone out, so that he had every reason for feeling certain she must be in the house before him. The Red Rat’s Daughter by Guy Boothby [1899]

Henry James He sometimes, in spite of his correctness, chewed a toothpick, and he missed the American papers, which he used to ask for in the most unlikely places. Georgina’s reasons by Henry James [1884]

I think it’s unlikely to the point of absurdity. To Love and Be Wise by Josephine Tey [1950]

As to Madame Midas, if her husband allows her to live — which I think is unlikely — I will make our excuses to her for leaving the mine. Madame Midas by Fergus Hume

If they went for help to the nearest town, time would be lost and the salmon wasted; and indeed, it was not unlikely that some grave suspicion would attach to their honourable selves. The Black Fishers by John Buchan

Henry Handel Richardson He began to see, under the limelight of the lawyer’s inquiry, in what a muddle-headed fashion he had managed his business, and how unlikely it was he could ever have made a good thing of it. Australia Felix by Henry Handel Richardson

It would be quite impossible for us to remember what we were doing on March the 28th — and most unlikely that anyone would remember for us. The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey

William Hope Hodgson I wondered I had not seen before that there was something queer and unlikely about the affair. The Ghost Pirates by William Hope Hodgson

E. Phillips Oppenheim The threads sometimes show themselves in the most unlikely places. The Wrath to Come by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1924]

G. K. Chesterton We are suffering just now from an outbreak of the imagination which exhibits itself in politics and the most unlikely places. Varied Types by G. K. Chesterton [1903]

But this was mere supposition; the ownership of the panel and how it came to be found in such an unlikely place remained a mystery. Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson [1945]

Henry Kingsley Even if he had come face to face with him, it was almost unlikely that he would have recognised him in his moustache. Ravenshoe by Henry Kingsley [1861]

Arthur Conan Doyle The savage chooses some most unlikely thing and adores it. Danger! and other stories by Arthur Conan Doyle [1918]

It was a habit of mind not unlikely to be cherished by his habits of life. Charles Lamb by Thomas De Quincey

H. G. Wells He did realize that a movement to reconstruct a society is unlikely to receive the immediate enthusiastic support of the majority of those who fit into and profit by its existing arrangements. An Experiment in Autobiography by H. G. Wells

Arthur Morrison He had tried Palmer’s Tourist Office, although that seemed an unlikely place, and there struck the track. The Chronicles of Martin Hewitt by Arthur Morrison

Margaret Oliphant He would dart aside at a tangent, go off at the most unlikely moment, dash down the cup when it was at the sweetest, and abandon with disgust the things that had seemed to please him most. The Wizard's Son by Margaret Oliphant [1882]

He took it, he assured himself afterward, without winking; but it is unlikely that he felt sufficiently indebted to the manner of its administration, in congratulating himself upon this point. A Daughter of To-Day by Sara Jeannette Duncan [1894]

Charles Dickens Everything is sold at the most unlikely place. Pictures from Italy by Charles Dickens [1846]

This was so unlikely that he took his attention from Archie to consider the matter. The Singing Sands by Josephine Tey [1952]

John Galsworthy To see ‘those two’ in so unlikely a spot was quite a merciful ‘pick-me-up. The Man of Property by John Galsworthy

H. Rider Haggard She knew how unlikely it was that she would ever have a better chance with Arthur than she had now, for the mirrors told her that she was looking her loveliest, which was very lovely indeed. Dawn by H. Rider Haggard

Wilkie Collins It is folded up so small; it is hidden in such an unlikely place. The Dead Secret by Wilkie Collins [1857]

She was one of those strictly correct young women who was not likely to do much harm in the world but who was just as unlikely to do any good. Phantom Fortune by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1883]

George Meredith He reserved it because Tonans was an opponent, tricksy and surprising now and then, amusing too; unlikely to afford him serious reflections. Diana of the Crossways by George Meredith [1885]

Arthur Machen And so the most unlikely events happened. Far Off Things by Arthur Machen [1922]

It is unlikely that this pack was ever used for playing; probably it was painted as an act of devotion or thanksgiving. The Greater Trumps by Charles Williams

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu A faint rumour had got about that something was not very unlikely to be. Checkmate by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu [1871]

Gaston Leroux Larsan says, unlikely as that may seem, that the murderer may have slipped behind them. Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux [1907]

Thus by elimination he soon rid the matter of the more unlikely theories, and was reduced—though aversely—to the less assailable one that the bottle contained a message to himself. Cabbages and Kings by O. Henry [1904]

Olaf Stapledon The social order was satisfactory to all classes, and seemed unlikely to change. Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu It’s quite impossible — the most unlikely idea imaginable. The Tenants of Malory by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu [1867]

The captain, appearing now and then on short visits, mumbled to Mr. Burns unlikely tales about some letters he was waiting for. The Shadow Line by Joseph Conrad [1917]

Wilkie Collins Any correspondence between them — a confidential correspondence especially — seemed to be one of the most unlikely things that could take place. Poor Miss Finch by Wilkie Collins [1872]

Like every other writer, Shakespeare will be forgotten sooner or later, but it is unlikely that a heavier indictment will ever be brought against him. Collected Essays by George Orwell

Who is to believe me as it is—it sounds a sort of unlikely tale. Max Carrados by Ernest Bramah [1914]

Robert Louis Stevenson In every place, on every side, the most unlikely persons, man or woman, rich or poor, became protectors to forward me upon my journey, or spies to observe and regulate my conduct. The Dynamiter by Robert Louis Stevenson

He was such an indefatigable diarist that it is unlikely that he neglected to keep a journal in this crisis of his studies. Gibbon by James Cotter Morison [1878]

George Gissing It seems to you very unlikely that an everyday sort of girl, whom you have met in society and know all about, should develop into a great artist. The Whirlpool by George Gissing [1896]

There had been some fighting, then, and it was not unlikely that all his fellow-desperadoes had been captured! He chuckled at his own ingenuity and good sense. For the term of his natural life by Marcus Clarke [1874]

Ibsen’s nature was not in any sense precocious, and even if he had not languished in so lost a corner of society, it is unlikely that he would have started prematurely in life or literature. Henrik Ibsen by Edmund Gosse

Arthur Machen This sounds a terrific and unlikely statement, considered with relation to the temperate and reasonable geology of this land, which has known nothing for many æons of volcanoes or burning mountains. Far Off Things by Arthur Machen [1922]

Anthony Trollope She had given him no hint whether it was likely or unlikely that she and Lord Chiltern would be reconciled; but she had convinced him that he could not be allowed to take Lord Chiltern’s place. Phineas Finn by Anthony Trollope

G. K. Chesterton But they felt certain, at least, that they were far enough into that awful gulf between us and America to make it unlikely that they would soon see land again. The Ball and the Cross by G. K. Chesterton [1909]

Yet David was a sober, middle-aged man, unlikely to have invented the story. Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson [1945]

George Gissing It was extremely unlikely that she remembered his face, and to introduce himself to her by the memory of by-gone trouble would be the mere selfish gratification of his wishes. Workers in the Dawn by George Gissing [1880]

Watkin Tench Both parties were armed; yet an attack seemed as unlikely on their part, as we knew it to be on our own. A Narrative of the The Expedition to Botany Bay by Watkin Tench [1788]

Anthony Trollope Walker and Watson were very good fellows, popular in the hunt, and of all men the most unlikely to give it up. Marion Fay by Anthony Trollope [1882]

Besides, the road to it was nearly all a lot of rock and scrub from the Hollow, that made it an unlikely place to be tracked from. Robbery Under Arms by Rolf Boldrewood

H.P. Lovecraft It is unlikely that he would have shewn what he did to the workmen, had it not been for their unconcealed curiousity. The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H.P. Lovecraft [1927]

George Gissing It was the first time that either of them had left England, and they seemed most unlikely people to be suddenly affected with a zeal for foreign travel. The Emancipated by George Gissing [1889]

George Gissing And that was an unlikely thing; granting she loved him, it was not in Emily’s character to scheme thus, under the circumstances. A Life's Morning by George Gissing [1885]

He searched every public resort, went over the whole city on foot or in a gondola, visited his few friends, hunted every likely and unlikely place for some trace of his lost daughter, but found none. Mohawks by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1886]

George Meredith And unlikely that a friend of the pork-butcher would be the person whom Mr. Radnor first prohibited and then desired to receive. One of our Conquerors by George Meredith [1891]

I think it unlikely that the old gentleman knew what disposition had been made of him. The Ocean Wave by Ambrose Bierce

Beatrice Vesper abruptly on her way to me, and alone — it was the most strangely unlikely news. The Long Chamber by Olivia Howard Dunbar

Ford Madox Ford It seems about the most unlikely thing I could do; but there it is. The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford

Guy de Maupassan She dreamed, she lifted veils, she imagined unlikely complications, a thousand singular, terrible things, seductive, nevertheless, by their very strangeness. Yvette by Guy de Maupassan

The most valuable information is not unfrequently picked up in the most unlikely places, and for this reason I followed my own Jehu and his rival into the public-house in question. My Strangest Case by Guy Boothby [1901]

George Gissing It seemed very unlikely indeed that Marian would continue to think of him with any special and personal interest. New Grub Street by George Gissing [1891]

That he did this deliberately is so unlikely as to be practically impossible: that he did it is certain. The English Novel by George Saintsbury [1913]

As I have said, it is ten years now since all these things happened, but Larose has not passed out of my life yet, and it is unlikely now that he ever will. The Shadow of Larose by Arthur Gask [1930]

Kenneth Grahame But it could hardly be a star in such an unlikely situation; and it was too glittering and small for a glow-worm. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

It was not unlikely that she might be going to the same spot about the same hour as before; and in that case I might overtake her gondola by the way, or find it moored somewhere along the shore. The Story of Salome by Amelia B. Edwards

It is unlikely that they will be finished — world events will see to that — but they represent faithfully enough the modern civilised man’s idea of pleasure. Collected Essays by George Orwell

It was exceedingly unlikely that she could throw any light on the Queue Murder. And it was still more unlikely that she would if she could. The Man in the Queue by Josephine Tey

George Gissing But it was very unlikely that things should rest at this pass. New Grub Street by George Gissing [1891]

Edith Wharton It was not unlikely that, in that little southern settlement, the telegraph office closed at six. Fruit of the Tree by Edith Wharton [1907]

George Gissing After all, it was very unlikely that Dagworthy would offer to bear the expense of the lost hat. A Life's Morning by George Gissing [1885]

Guy de Maupassan They all congregated in the kitchen, and talked the subject to death, imagining all kinds of unlikely things. Boule de Suif by Guy de Maupassan

George Meredith But I can say, dear, that after one rescue, a similar temptation is unlikely to master me. Diana of the Crossways by George Meredith [1885]

Arthur Conan Doyle Dr. Roylott has gone to town, and it is unlikely that he will be back before evening. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle [1892]

Samuel Johnson And perhaps if we turn our thoughts upon the barbarity and ignorance of the age to which this story is referred, it will appear not so unlikely as while we estimate Lear’s manners by our own. Preface to Shakespeare by Samuel Johnson [1765]

George Meredith He was quiet, unlikely to give annoyance to persons not strongly predisposed to hear sentences finished and exclamations fall into their right places. The Adventures of Harry Richmond by George Meredith [1871]

The whole matter, he said, was extremely complicated, and the contingencies mentioned by His Royal Highness were very unlikely to arise. Queen Victoria by Lytton Strachey

He would be unlikely to carry word of it to his wife, but would investigate on his own account. Citadel of Fear by Francis Stevens

They knew that their parents and the schoolmistress were unlikely to hear of it. Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson [1945]

George Gissing The blow was aimed at his self-possession from such an unlikely quarter. Born in Exile by George Gissing [1891]

Arthur Morrison He knows that if any suspicion were aroused his rooms would be searched in every likely place, so he looks for an unlikely place. The Chronicles of Martin Hewitt by Arthur Morrison

Nothing was more unlikely than that Susan would neglect her duty for a moment. Milly Darrell by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1873]

These good philosophers know how unlikely it would be for Mars, so far from the sun, to have gotten by with less than two moons. Micromégas by Voltaire [1752]

Alfred Ainger It is unlikely that this little venture brought any profit to its authors, or that a subsequent volume of blank verse by Lamb and Lloyd in the following year was more remunerative. Charles Lamb by Alfred Ainger [1882]

James Anthony Froude Had he been a dissolute idle scamp, it is unlikely that a respectable woman would have become his wife when he was a mere boy. Bunyan by James Anthony Froude [1880]

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Our chambers were always full of chemicals and of criminal relics which had a way of wandering into unlikely positions, and of turning up in the butter-dish or in even less desirable places. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle [1894]

He was faithful, unlikely as that may seem in a man of his kind; he never left his wife. Serge Panine by Georges Ohnet [1881]

George Meredith She will fancy that at least she is ten times more subtle than I. When I get the mastery—it is unlikely to make me the master. The Gentleman of Fifty and the Damsel of Nineteen by George Meredith

Anthony Trollope It was the one possible break-down in her triumph; but had been, she thought, so unlikely as to be hardly possible. Kept in the Dark by Anthony Trollope [1882]

Elizabeth Gaskell Visiting register offices, seeing all manner of unlikely people, and very few in the least likely, absorbed Margaret’s time and thoughts for several days. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell [1854]

I should explain to you, gentlemen, that it seems not unlikely that I may become the subject of a curious coincidence. The Crime and the Criminal by Richard Marsh [1897]

Thomas Hardy But he did not come again, and when she thought of his word that he would return once more, if living, and how unlikely he was to break his word, she gave him up for dead. A Group of Noble Dames by Thomas Hardy [1891]

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle All the rest of the night I tossed and tumbled, framing theory after theory, each more unlikely than the last. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle [1894]

There was one place to which his Dusk Lady, had she been of sound mind, would have been supremely unlikely to return. Citadel of Fear by Francis Stevens

He was a bachelor, and having nearly reached his fiftieth year it was considered unlikely that he would marry. Run to Earth by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1868]

Walter Scott Had he sought to make me a proselyte to his ruined cause, violence and compulsion were arguments very unlikely to prevail with any generous spirit. Redgauntlet by Walter Scott [1824]

As an individual who kept himself to himself, he would be unlikely to communicate my business to his kindred. Birds of Prey by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1867]

Virginia Woolf Moreover, it is unlikely that he ever bestirred himself to walk in the grounds. The Death of the Moth and other essays by Virginia Woolf [1942]

Philip Sidney Near Wilton sweet, huge heaps of stones are found, But so confused, that neither any eye Can count them just, nor Reason reason try, What force brought them to so unlikely ground. Poems by Philip Sidney

Wilkie Collins Scotland’s a beautiful country, William. Can you make whisky-toddy? I can; and, what’s more, unlikely as the thing may seem to you, I can actually drink it into the bargain. The Queen of Hearts by Wilkie Collins [1859]

H.P. Lovecraft Then, too, there was the upsetting of the larder, the disappearance of certain staples, and the jarringly comical heap of tin cans pried open in the most unlikely ways and at the most unlikely places. At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft [1931]

Jules Verne It occurred to him, however, that the count, on discovering an island where he had expected to find the mainland of Africa, would not unlikely be at a loss for a place of anchorage. Off on a Comet by Jules Verne [1877]

Some laughed at Chaeremonianus for believing such an incredible and unlikely story. Symposiacs by Plutarch

It was surely unlikely that a man busy with the administration of the North of England, or campaigning (with dazzling success) against the Scots, would have much spare interest in being ‘smooth’. The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

Edith Wharton The market, moreover, happened to be booming, and it seemed not unlikely that so experienced a speculator might have a “good thing” up his sleeve. The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton [1913]

James Joyce Highly unlikely of course there was even a shadow of truth in the stones and, even supposing, he thought a return highly inadvisable, all things considered. Ulysses by James Joyce [1922]

Ivan Turgenev I proceeded to scrutinise with close attention the strange being, by whose good offices such unlikely adventures had befallen me. Dream tales and prose poems by Ivan Turgenev

Henry James He couldn’t get used to her interest in the arts he cared for; it seemed too good to be real — it was so unlikely an adventure to tumble into such a well of sympathy. The Lesson of the Master by Henry James [1888]

F. Scott Fitzgerald This unlikely story begins on a sea that was a blue dream, as colorful as blue-silk stockings, and beneath a sky as blue as the irises of children’s eyes. Flappers and Philosophers by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Andrew Lang Miss Preston was not unlikely to be at tea at tea-time. The Book of Dreams and Ghosts by Andrew Lang

There was but one person likely to know all Mr. Topsparkle’s secrets, and he would be unlikely to reveal them. Mohawks by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1886]

An inspection brought me to the conclusion that no mind but one prone to discovering sea-beaches in the most unlikely places could have supposed for a moment that one existed here. The Discovery of the Source of the Nile by John Hanning Speke [1863]

Messrs. Upjohn and Halliday are very unlikely to overlook so serious a breach of decorum. Her Father’s Name by Florence Marryat [1878]

Radclyffe Hall He frequented the stiff little club house on the esplanade, and in this most unlikely place he heard of a governess. The Unlit Lamp by Radclyffe Hall

Jules Verne And it was not unlikely that mountains did exist in these antarctic lands. Robur the Conqueror by Jules Verne [1887]

Arthur Machen Lucian went slowly, but not discreditably, up the school, gaining prizes now and again, and falling in love more and more with useless reading and unlikely knowledge. The Hill of Dreams by Arthur Machen [1907]

Edgar Wallace I am an old man, Lensman, and it is unlikely that I shall live for many years longer. Planetoid 127 by Edgar Wallace [1927]

The sudden disappearance of both the Professor and the woman was extremely suspicious and it was most unlikely they would have died from natural causes both at the same time. The House on the Fens by Arthur Gask [1940]

It’s a heavy bit of furniture and most people would be unlikely to think of it, as it is so obvious. The Night of the Storm by Arthur Gask [1937]

Bent was to stay behind and shoot in case we were followed — unlikely but always possible. My Life and Loves by Frank Harris

Samuel Johnson Macleod landed upon Egg, and demanded the offenders; but the inhabitants refusing to surrender them, retreated to a cavern, into which they thought their enemies unlikely to follow them. A Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland by Samuel Johnson

Algernon Blackwood It had, similarly, taken place with Devonham, an unlikely subject, who fought against acknowledging it. The Bright Messenger by Algernon Blackwood [1922]

Jules Verne It was quite unlikely that he should be arrested for preventing a suttee. Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne [1873]

Andrew Lang However, he soon remembered that though it was very unlikely that he should find the ring in the brook, it was impossible that he should find it by staying in the palace. The Crimson Fairy Book by Andrew Lang

Arthur Conan Doyle It is unlikely that a youngster like Adair would at once make a hideous scandal by exposing a well known man so much older than himself. The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle [1904]

Ford Madox Ford Or, of course, our own legislators might have been trying a nice little demonstration in force, equally idiotic somewhere else, to impress someone just as unlikely to be impressed . A Man Could Stand Up by Ford Madox Ford [1926]

He knew that if she had given orders that Miss Betty was not to be disturbed, it was very unlikely that anybody would disturb her. All Hallows’ Eve by Charles Williams [1945]

Willa Cather A blessing? It is unlikely that the word gives the true meaning of that which happened to him in his very sight and which corresponded to his temperament and to his experience of himself. Not Under Forty by Willa Cather [1936]

It was simplified in view of the fact—the awful fact—that according to his private information it was most unlikely that the submarine would be raised within the next few hours. Studies in Love and Terror by Marie Belloc Lowndes [1913]

I was chiefly impressed by what was unlikely to be done and by the absence of any general plan of legislation to hold us all together. The New Machiavelli by Herbert George Wells [1911]

John Galsworthy That was why it seemed to him extremely unlikely that he would live after he was dead. Swan Song by John Galsworthy

The woman at the lodge had told him that it was very unlikely he would be able to see Madame Durski at this hour of the day, but he had walked on to the house notwithstanding. Run to Earth by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1868]

Edith Wharton He knew next to nothing of Vyse’s history, of the mischance or mis-management that had brought him, with his brains and his training, to so unlikely a pass. Tales of Men and Ghosts by Edith Wharton [1910]

Nobody could charge the Dickens novel with doing this, except as regards mannerisms of style, and though it might inspire many, it was very unlikely to create a rut for any one else. The English Novel by George Saintsbury [1913]

The top one, with the pretty picture of Valetta in unlikely pink, was Lavinia Fitch’s annual account of a blameless heroine’s tribulations. The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

George Meredith If they make particular inquiries—very unlikely I think—but, if they do, put them at their ease. Rhoda Fleming by George Meredith [1865]

But into his mind there came a gleam such as might inspire a patient digger who sees the first speck of gold that justifies his faith in an unlikely claim. Max Carrados by Ernest Bramah [1914]

It was impossible that she should go back to the tribe, and it was equally unlikely that any suitable man would ask her hand in marriage. Quod Erat Demonstrandum by Guy Boothby

Arthur Morrison Is would be unlikely here, because there is a tendency, as you see, to regularity in these signs, and t, the next Idler alphabetically to s, is at the bottom of the stave. The Adventures of Martin Hewitt by Arthur Morrison

It was very unlikely that there existed anywhere in Oceania a copy of a book printed earlier than 1960. Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell

Wilkie Collins His words, when he occasionally spoke, seemed as unlikely to give offense as his looks; for he only opened his lips in courteous reply to questions directly addressed to him. After Dark by Wilkie Collins [1856]

Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch However unlikely your defence may sound — and you seem to fear it — I will give it the best consideration I can. The Laird’s Luck by Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch [1901]

Anthony Trollope Many who knew the peculiar propensities of Sir Gregory’s earlier days thought that Mr. Minusex was not an unlikely candidate. The Three Clerks by Anthony Trollope

George Gissing Suppose now, he set himself to imagine Miriam in unlikely situations. The Emancipated by George Gissing [1889]

Why, ’twould be looking for a needle in a field of hay, Mr. Bunting! But there! I don’t think it’s anything quite so unlikely as that—not myself I don’t. The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes [1913]

Arthur Conan Doyle Again, as the curé pointed out, since Cellini was a comparative stranger in the village, it was very unlikely that he would know which road Maul would take in order to reach his home. A Pastoral Horror by Arthur Conan Doyle

They seemed very low, and quite unlikely to produce water. Australia Twice Traversed by Ernest Giles

Edith Wharton It was not unlikely that Briga knew of my love for Donna Candida, and had encouraged her to use it in the good cause. The Descent of Man and other stories by Edith Wharton [1903]

He thought it unlikely that Allins would be at the Station Hotel. It was too public a place, and he might be recognised. Castle Gay by John Buchan [1930]

Elizabeth Gaskell Indeed I myself did not think it unlikely that he would snap one of them up if he could. Mr. Harrison’s Confessions by Elizabeth Gaskell [1851]

George Gissing But I went astray; it seemed to me the most unlikely thing that you should regard him with more than a doubtful interest. Born in Exile by George Gissing [1891]

Arthur Morrison Now, the first thing the greenest and newest criminal thinks of is changing his name, so that the giving of his own name seemed unlikely to begin with. The Chronicles of Martin Hewitt by Arthur Morrison

Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch A whole battalion has eaten the village bare, and is foraging in all kinds of unlikely places. The Two Scouts by Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

E. T. A. Hoffmann But after all had been said, there was nevertheless a good deal that was strained and unlikely in this explanation. The Entail by E. T. A. Hoffmann

On abstract grounds, I should have declared him an unlikely man to be the victim of an hallucination. The Watcher by the Threshold by John Buchan [1900]

Arthur Conan Doyle It is unlikely that it is the bootmaker, since your boots are nearly new. His Last Bow by Arthur Conan Doyle [1917]

Thomas Hardy It was too unlikely that his arrival at such a dramatic moment should not be a contrived surprise, quite of a piece with his previous dealings towards her. A Changed Man by Thomas Hardy [1913]

Andrew Lang It is unlikely that he bought his liberty by the knowledge of the secret, and there is nothing to suggest that he used it (if he possessed it) in any other way. The Valet’s Tragedy by Andrew Lang

M. R. James I think you know, my dear Emily, that I am not inclined to disagree with him there, and also that I was not unlikely to be able to answer his question. A Thin Ghost and others by M. R. James

She’s in a nasty humour and furious because I’ve told her it’s unlikely anyone will be able to leave the house today or perhaps even for two or three days. Marauders by Night by Arthur Gask [1951]

The character of his work soon won confidence even in the most unlikely quarters. Victorian Worthies by George Henry Blore

Elizabeth Gaskell Before he came, Mr Bradshaw had pleased himself with thinking, that more unlikely things had happened than the espousal of his daughter with the member of a small borough. Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell [1853]

Arthur Conan Doyle And now I think that a few hours’ sleep would do us all good, for I do not propose to leave before eleven o’clock, and it is unlikely that we shall be back before morning. The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle [1904]

M. R. James It seemed not unlikely to reward the spade of the explorer; enough of the foundations was probably left at no great depth to throw a good deal of light on the general plan. Ghost Stories of an Antiquary by M. R. James

One could go through the catalogue of his acknowledged virtues, and find that each of them, individually, made his part in the murder unlikely in the extreme. The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

No one could have recognized me, and in that case it was most unlikely that our secret would be discovered. Dr Nikola Returns by Guy Boothby [1896]

Henry James But nothing could happen save a dismayed discovery that, by some altogether unlikely chance, the master and mistress of the house had already come back. The Spoils of Poynton by Henry James [1897]

George Meredith Let him be thwarted, his desperation would be unlikely to stop at legal barriers. The Tragic Comedians by George Meredith [1880]

Besides, an opportunity for escape might yet present itself in some most unlikely way, perhaps at the very last moment. Romance by Joseph Conrad and Ford Madox Ford [1903]

Arthur Conan Doyle On the whole I incline to the latter view, since the matter was evidently important, and it is unlikely that the composer of such a letter would be careless. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle [1902]

James Anthony Froude It is unlikely that at any time he was made to suffer any greater hardships than were absolutely inevitable. Bunyan by James Anthony Froude [1880]

Very unlikely men are they, to run into an expedition of that sort. East Lynne by Ellen Wood [1861]