liable

 , likely, apt, prone.
 All four indicate probability, but they carry distinctions worth noting. Apt is better reserved for general probabilities ("It is apt to snow in January") and likely for specific ones ("It is likely to snow today"). Liable and prone are better used to indicate a probability arising as a regrettable consequence: "People who drink too much are prone to heart disease"; "If you don’t pay your taxes, you are liable to get caught." A separate but common problem with likely is seen in this sentence: "Cable experts say the agreement will likely strengthen the company’s position." Used as an adverb, likely needs to be accompanied by one of four helping words: very, quite, more, or most. Thus the sentence should say "will very likely strengthen."

Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors. 2013.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • liable — li·a·ble / lī ə bəl/ adj [ultimately from Old French lier to bind, from Latin ligare] 1: answerable according to law: bound or obligated according to law or equity one is liable as an accomplice to the crime of another W. R. LaFave and A. W.… …   Law dictionary

  • liable — li‧a‧ble [ˈlaɪəbl] adjective [not before a noun] LAW 1. legally responsible for paying something: liable for • The troubled company will be liable for about $52 million in back taxes and penalties. 2. likely to be legally punished or forced to… …   Financial and business terms

  • Liable — Li a*ble (l[imac] [.a]*b l), a. [From F. lier to bind, L. ligare. Cf. {Ally}, v. t., {Ligature}.] 1. Bound or obliged in law or equity; responsible; answerable; as, the surety is liable for the debt of his principal. [1913 Webster] 2. Exposed to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • liable — 1 amenable, answerable, *responsible, accountable Analogous words: obliged, constrained, compelled (see FORCE vb): bound, tied (see TIE vb) Contrasted words: exempt, immune (see corresponding nouns at EXEMPTION): *free, independent 2 …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • liable to — likely to experience (something undesirable): → liable liable to subject by law to. → liable …   English new terms dictionary

  • liable — ► ADJECTIVE 1) responsible by law; legally answerable. 2) (liable to) subject by law to. 3) (liable to do) likely to do. 4) (liable to) likely to experience (something undesirable). ORIGIN perhaps from French li …   English terms dictionary

  • liable — [lī′ə bəl; ] often, esp. for 3 [, lī′bəl] adj. [prob. via Anglo Fr < OFr lier, to bind < L ligare, to bind (see LIGATURE) + ABLE] 1. legally bound or obligated, as to make good any loss or damage that occurs in a transaction; responsible 2 …   English World dictionary

  • liable — (adj.) mid 15c., bound or obliged by law, probably from Anglo Fr. *liable, from O.Fr. lier to bind, tie up, fasten, tether; bind by obligation, from L. ligare to bind, to tie (see LIGAMENT (Cf. ligament)). With ABLE (Cf. able). General sense of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • liable — [adj1] answerable, responsible accountable, amenable, bound, chargeable, obligated, subject, tied; concept 545 Ant. excusable, freed, irresponsible, unaccountable liable [adj2] open, likely apt, assailable, attackable, beatable, conquerable,… …   New thesaurus

  • liable to — index conditional Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • liable */*/ — UK [ˈlaɪəb(ə)l] / US adjective [never before noun] a) legally responsible for causing damage or injury, so that you have to pay something or be punished If something goes wrong, you ll be liable. liable for: The hospital was held liable for… …   English dictionary

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