Seemingly, in a way, as in He was living in a dream world, as it were. A shortening of “as if it were so,” this idiom has been in use since Chaucer's time (he had it in his Nun's Priest's Tale, c. 1386). Also see so to speak.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.