Improbate

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • v. t Improbate To disapprove of; to disallow.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • improbate To disallow; refuse to approve.
    • ***

Quotations

  • H. L. Mencken
    H.%20L.%20Mencken
    “Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.”
  • Oscar Wilde
    Oscar%20Wilde
    “Man can believe the impossible, but man can never believe the improbable.”
  • George Ade
    George Ade
    “Nothing is improbable until it moves into past tense.”
  • Aristotle
    Aristotle
    “Probable impossibilities are to be preferred to improbable possibilities.”
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    Sir%20Arthur%20Conan%20Doyle
    “When the impossibility has been eliminated, whatever remains, no matter how improbable... is possible.”
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne
    Nathaniel%20Hawthorne
    “Nobody has any conscience about adding to the improbabilities of a marvelous tale.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. improbatus, p. p. of improbare, to disapprove; pref. im-, not + probare, to approve

Usage

In literature:

Here is another, to say the least of it, very improbable statement.
"A Review of Uncle Tom's Cabin" by A. Woodward
It seems too improbable.
"The Texan Star" by Joseph A. Altsheler
And it is not improbable that there was an offsetting disadvantage.
"Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1" by Various
All this, and many other improbable falsehoods, did this Spaniard make these people believe.
"A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16" by Robert Kerr
Even on the mere balance of judgment between the probable and the improbable, we have little to go on.
"The Birth-Time of the World and Other Scientific Essays" by J. (John) Joly
It is improbable, however, that they were numerous.
"Myths of Babylonia and Assyria" by Donald A. Mackenzie
It does not seem improbable, that his place will be supplied, and perhaps by the Chevalier de la Luzerne.
"Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson" by Thomas Jefferson
Upon the whole, it is improbable, and therefore you should abandon the idea of ever seeing them again.
"Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson" by Thomas Jefferson
There are no signs of a desire to claim improbable accuracy or improbable antiquity.
"Hinduism and Buddhism, An Historical Sketch, Vol. 3 (of 3)" by Charles Eliot
Was it, in reality, an improbable test; an unsuitable one?
"Probabilities" by Martin Farquhar Tupper
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In poetry:

This most impossible improbable thing
Is that I shall marry you--
Though I do not marry other men
Because of you.
"Telephone At Twelve" by Isobel Stone
We shall say only the leaves whispering
In the improbable mist of nightfall
That flies on multiple wing;
Night is the beginning and the end
"Ode To The Confederate Dead" by Allen Tate
Of course he must dream; but be sure that his dreams,
If happy, must compass, alas!
Fat bullocks at feed by improbable streams,
Knee-deep in improbable grass.
"Bill the Bullock-Driver" by Henry Kendall
Procne, Philomela, and Itylus,
Your names are liquid, your improbable tale
Is recited in the classic numbers of the nightingale.
Ah, but our numbers are not felicitous,
It goes not liquidly for us!
"An American Addresses Philomela" by John Crowe Ransom

In news:

A memorial, as part of a mixed-use project, will in some way turn out to look Minimalist , Minimalism , of all improbable art movements of the last 50 years, having become the unofficial language of memorial art.
The improbable reign of Harry Reid, mumbling gangster.
Add this one to the annals of improbable-looking clouds.
'Larry Crowne' movie review: Unrelenting niceness is not an asset in improbable comedy.
Larry King and the Old Niceness , An Improbable Defense.
Improbably, a girl finds strawberries in the snow to feed her stepmother in The Three Little Men in the Woods.
A liquor store painted with beer-case-toting flamingos seems an improbable place for politically inspired poetry.
OAKLAND, Calif — Given a rare starting turn at point guard, Patrick Mills poured in 61 points in two nights, helping lift the Spurs to pair of victories and, improbably keep alive the franchise's streak of 50-win seasons.
In the late 1960s, a teenaged Franklin Chang-Díaz, speaking no English, left his home country of Costa Rica and headed to the United States with the improbable dream of becoming an astronaut.
All sorts of fantastic, improbable things happen in this in-between space.
While millions will watch I'll Have Another attempt to complete his improbable run at the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes this Saturday, thoroughbred horse racing remains far behind team sports in the psyche of American sports fans.
American companies continue trying to outsource work overseas, no matter how increasingly improbable the project.
An author's improbable leap from self-published obscurity to — maybe — literary stardom.
" Sita Sings the Blues" is a highly improbable film.
The past future on display, the Bruce Willis Improbability Index, and science events in October 09.27.2012.
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In science:

Naturally, our Gedankenexperiment is a rather improbable realization of this process, because in the real process a given relaxation center will almost never return to its initial asymmetry, though the macroscopic stress relaxes back to zero.
Energy landscape - a key concept for the dynamics of glasses and liquids
But, as the theorem of Section V has shown, time-symmetry has vanishing measure: it requires an overwhelmingly improbable fine-tuning of all the state variables of the universe.
The cosmological origin of time-asymmetry
The χ2 values for these fits are improbably low, suggesting that the photometric errors have been overestimated, which is also true of the low redshift sample.
Measurement of \Omega_m, \Omega_{\Lambda} from a blind analysis of Type Ia supernovae with CMAGIC: Using color information to verify the acceleration of the Universe
However, in proving this regularity Khuri discarded (as improbable) the case when β (g ) has an infinite set of zeroes accumulating near the origin.
On 't Hooft's representation of the \beta-function
In the extreme and improbable situation of their domination, the signal would be the lightness of singlet sleptons.
Proton decay, supersymmetry breaking and its mediation
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