Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of perhaps
Meaning of perhaps by Wiktionary Dictionary

perhaps


    Alternative forms

    • perhap

    Etymology

    Alteration ( via plural: -s or adverbial -s ) of earlier perhap, equivalent to per +‎ hap ( “chance, coincidence” ) .

    Pronunciation

    • ( RP ) IPA: /pəˈhæps/, X-SAMPA: /p@"h{ps/
    • ( GenAm ) IPA: /pɚˈhæps/, X-SAMPA: /p@`"h{ps/
    • ( GenAm ) ( colloquial ) ( nonstandard ) IPA: /ˈpɹæps/
    • Rhymes: -æps
    • Hyphenation: per‧haps

    Adverb

    perhaps ( not comparable )

    1. Modifies a verb, indicating a lack of certainty .
      Perhaps John will come over for dinner .

    Statistics



Explanation of perhaps by Wordnet Dictionary

perhaps


    Adverb
    1. by chance

    2. perhaps she will call tomorrow


    Definition of perhaps by GCIDE Dictionary

    perhaps


    1. May ( mā ), v. [imp. Might ( mīt )] [AS. pres. maeg I am able, pret. meahte, mihte; akin to D. mogen, G. mögen, OHG. mugan, magan, Icel. mega, Goth. magan, Russ. moche. √103. Cf. Dismay, Main strength, Might. The old imp. mought is obsolete, except as a provincial word.] An auxiliary verb qualifying the meaning of another verb, by expressing: Ability, competency, or possibility; -- now oftener expressed by can.

      How may a man, said he, with idle speech,

      Be won to spoil the castle of his health! Spenser.

      For what he [the king] may do is of two kinds; what he may do as just, and what he may do as possible. Bacon.

      For of all sad words of tongue or pen

      The saddest are these: “It might have been.” Whittier.

      Liberty; permission; allowance.

      Thou mayst be no longer steward. Luke xvi. 2.

      Contingency or liability; possibility or probability.

      Though what he learns he speaks, and may advance

      Some general maxims, or be right by chance. Pope.

      Modesty, courtesy, or concession, or a desire to soften a question or remark.

      How old may Phillis be, you ask. Prior.

      Desire or wish, as in prayer, imprecation, benediction, and the like. “May you live happily.” Dryden.

      May be, and It may be, are used as equivalent to possibly, perhaps, maybe, by chance, peradventure. See 1st Maybe.

    2. Perhaps ( pẽrhăps ), adv. [Per + hap chance.] Posibly; by chance; peradventure; perchance; it may be.

      And pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. Acts viii. 22.