English edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English perhappes, perhappous, variant of earlier perhap (perhaps, possibly), equivalent to per +‎ hap (chance, coincidence) +‎ -s.

Pronunciation edit

Adverb edit

perhaps (not comparable)

  1. Possibly.
    Perhaps John will come over for dinner.
    There was a perhaps credible witness.
    He was seriously wounded, perhaps fatally.
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter I, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC:
      The stories did not seem to me to touch life. They were plainly intended to have a bracing moral effect, and perhaps had this result for the people at whom they were aimed.
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter VII, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      With some of it on the south and more of it on the north of the great main thoroughfare that connects Aldgate and the East India Docks, St. Bede's at this period of its history was perhaps the poorest and most miserable parish in the East End of London.
    • 2013 June 7, David Simpson, “Fantasy of navigation”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 36:
      It is tempting to speculate about the incentives or compulsions that might explain why anyone would take to the skies in [the] basket [of a balloon]: perhaps out of a desire to escape the gravity of this world or to get a preview of the next; […].
  2. (dated) By chance.
    • c. 1850, “Landlord, Fill the Flowing Bowl”:
      [] will live until he dies perhaps, and then lie down in clover.

Synonyms edit

Related terms edit

Translations edit

Noun edit

perhaps (plural perhapses)

  1. An uncertainty.
    • 1870, The Missionary Herald, volumes 66-67, page 167:
      I cannot conceive what atheism, or skepticism, or positivism could do for me now, with their negations, and endless and contradictory perhapses, and perhapses, and perhapses.

References edit

  • perhaps”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.