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European Definitions

RESIN project

The RESIN project [1] gives the following definition:

The chance of a specific outcome occurring, where this might be estimated probabilistically. [2]

Other International Definitions

National Definitions

United Kingdom (UK)

Likelihood is the chance of an event or outcome occurring, usually expressed as a probability. [3]

United States

Estimate of the potential of an incident or event’s occurrence. [4]

Standard Definition


Likelihood is the quantitative estimation that an action, event or incident may occur. [5]

ISO 73:2009

Chance of something happening. [6]

Discussion Topic

See also


  2. Mach, K.J., S. Planton and C. von Stechow (eds.). Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Annex II: Glossary. [Core Writing Team, R.K. Pachauri and L.A. Meyer (eds.)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, pp. 117-130.
  3. The National Adaptation Programme: Making the country resilient to a changing climate, UK Government (2013)
  4. DHS Risk Lexicon 2010 Edition, September 2010
  5. ISA WG7; IEC 62443-2-1(2010-11)
  6. ISO Guide 73:2009 Risk management -- Vocabulary