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...he would turn on friends, dismissing them curtly as being unworthy of his friendship. But, likely as not, he would write a letter the next day or so, telling them how noble and good they were and how he had misjudged them.

Hi, what does 'likely as not' mean in the sentence? Is it an adverb? And finally can it be replaced with another construction without

changing the substance of the sentence. Thanks.
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Hello K.O.

If something is as "likely as not", it is "as likely as it is unlikely".

So you could rephrase your sentence as follows:

"...he would turn on friends, dismissing them curtly as being unworthy of his friendship. But there was a good chance that he would write a letter the next day or so, telling them how noble and good they were and how he had misjudged them."

MrP
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"Sometimes" or "50/50 chance" could also replace "likely as not"