I am writing a paragraph about a mathematical condition which is "always false except by chance". This chance is very very low, almost zero, meaning the case for the condition being true will, in practical terms, never happen. Yet, strictly speaking, it could.

Is there a one-word quantifier which can express this condition ("always, except by chance")?

For instance:

  • "The condition is always false" is not appropriate, because always is too strong (chance still exist for condition to be true)

  • "The condition is mostly false" is not appropriate, because it speaks of many cases where it holds. The case will almost never happen.

I have been looking at other quantifiers or adverbs online, but cannot come across one.

  • 1
    I can't think of a single word (which is why I'm not posting this as an answer) but the chance of the condition being false can be described as vanishingly small. This term is widely accepted, particularly in scientific and mathematical circles, and reflects the calculus concept of tending to zero which is an alternative multi-word description of the situation.
    – BoldBen
    Mar 21 '17 at 9:48
  • barely, narrowly = almost not. Mar 21 '17 at 10:28
  • It would be helpful to have the exact sentence in which you're trying to fit this. Relatedly, can it be framed in terms of truth rather than falsity?
    – MDHunter
    Mar 21 '17 at 12:53
  • I support @BoldBen's comment. In addition, I have seen this concept expressed as follows: The condition has a negligible but nonzero likelihood. Mar 23 '17 at 5:24

The word I have seen used for this is practically.

"The condition is practically false"


practically ADVERB

1 Virtually; almost.

‘the risk of default was practically zero’


There is a mathematical term "almost always." The accepted definition would be something like:

Almost Always

  • Always except in a finite number of cases (or over a zero measure set)

An example might be:

You can almost always divide one real number by another - dividing by zero being the exception. Your example is almost always false.

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