# Resolved questionsWhat's the difference between 'possibility' and 'probability'?

What's the difference between 'possibility' and 'probability'?

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language

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• Mar 06, 2011
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"Possibility" means something may happen, but we don't know how likely. "Probability" means something may happen, but we believe it is more likely (i.e., more "probable") than not. So I could say there is a possibility of rain next week; but I think there is a probability of rain tonight, because I can see dark clouds and detect a change in the barometric pressure.

In several contexts (not always), /possibility/ has a positive meaning, like:
"answer to that insertion, seems a possibility to you";
You may stick a number to /probability/, usually like a percentage
(in this case 100 % means: sure event), or as a fraction of unity (in this case 0.5
means an equal chance of the event to verify or not).
You can't stick a number to /possibility/.

Examples:
The probability of rain within the next 5 hours is 95 %
The probability of rain tomorrow morning is 65 % from the data available now.