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EU Definitions


The likelihood of an occurrence, an outcome or a result, where this can be estimated probabilistically. [1]

European Project Definitions

CIPRNet project

The CIPRNet project [2] uses the following definition:

Likelihood is the chance of something happening.

RESIN project

The RESIN project [3] gives the following definition:

The chance of a specific outcome occurring, where this might be estimated probabilistically. [4]

Other International Definitions

National Definitions


(I risikoanalyser) brukes ofte sannsynlighet som mål på hvor trolig vi mener det er at en bestemt hendelse vil inntreffe, gitt vårt kunnskapsgrunnlag. [5]

(In risk analyses) likelihood is often used as an expression of how likely we think it is that a specific event will occur, given our knowledge base. [6]

United Kingdom (UK)

Likelihood is the chance of an event or outcome occurring, usually expressed as a probability. [7]

United States

Estimate of the potential of an incident or event’s occurrence. [8]

Standard Definition


Likelihood is the quantitative estimation that an action, event or incident may occur. [9]

ISO 73:2009

Chance of something happening. [10]

Discussion Topic

See also


  1. European Climate Adaptation Platform (CLIMATE-ADAPT) Glossary
  4. 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.
  5. DSB, National Risikobild 2014
  6. DSB, National Risk Analysis 2014
  7. The National Adaptation Programme: Making the country resilient to a changing climate, UK Government (2013)
  8. DHS Risk Lexicon 2010 Edition, September 2010
  9. ISA WG7; IEC 62443-2-1(2010-11)
  10. ISO Guide 73:2009 Risk management -- Vocabulary