[ per-haps ]
See synonyms for perhaps on
  1. maybe; possibly: Perhaps the package will arrive today.

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Origin of perhaps

First recorded in 1520–30; earlier perhappes, perhapis “by haps”; equivalent to per + hap1 + -s1

Words Nearby perhaps Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use perhaps in a sentence

  • perhaps you do not speak my language,” she said in Urdu, the tongue most frequently heard in Upper India.

    The Red Year | Louis Tracy
  • There is, perhaps, in this childish suffering often something more than the sense of being homeless and outcast.

    Children's Ways | James Sully
  • Those in whom the impulse is strong and dominant are perhaps those who in later years make the good society actors.

    Children's Ways | James Sully
  • The sensation she had communicated to him then she communicated again, this time perhaps more strongly.

    Bella Donna | Robert Hichens
  • When he gets quite large the boy will get tired of having him for a pet, and perhaps bring him back.

    Squinty the Comical Pig | Richard Barnum

British Dictionary definitions for perhaps


/ (pəˈhæps, informal præps) /

    • possibly; maybe

    • (as sentence modifier): he'll arrive tomorrow, perhaps; perhaps you'll see him tomorrow

sentence substitute
  1. it may happen, be so, etc; maybe

Origin of perhaps

C16 perhappes, from per by + happes chance, hap 1

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