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[per-chans, -chahns] /pərˈtʃæns, -ˈtʃɑns/
Literary. perhaps; maybe; possibly.
Archaic. by chance.
Origin of perchance
1300-50; Middle English, variant of par chance by chance < Anglo-French. See per, chance Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for perchance
Historical Examples
  • Here, perchance, may be found a clue in symbol to the family strife.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • "It would, perchance, be best that the novices be not admitted," suggested the master.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • It would be well, perchance, that you should give him greeting from me.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Bewitched, perchance, by that bad woman, which is no excuse for him.

    Fair Margaret H. Rider Haggard
  • If perchance he were to meet the girl again as she was leaving Number 9,—what then?

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • My boots, too, may perchance be useful—my riding ones of untanned leather.

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • It seems simple, perchance, and yet is only to be attained by some practice.'

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • But perchance the tide was favourable, and you could not tarry.

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • perchance I shall not have long to court the bullet or the sabre-stroke.

    A Hero of Our Time M. Y. Lermontov
  • I know that we shall soon have to part again, and perchance for ever.

    A Hero of Our Time M. Y. Lermontov
British Dictionary definitions for perchance


adverb (archaic or poetic)
perhaps; possibly
by chance; accidentally
Word Origin
C14: from Anglo-French par chance; see per, chance
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for perchance

mid-14c., parchaunce, from Old French par cheance, literally "by chance." With Latin per substituted c.1400 for French cognate par.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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