[per-chans, -chahns]


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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for perchance

Historical Examples of perchance

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for perchance


adverb archaic, or poetic

perhaps; possibly
by chance; accidentally

Word Origin for perchance

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

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