[ per-haps ]
/ pərˈhæps /


maybe; possibly: Perhaps the package will arrive today.

Nearby words

  1. pergolesi,
  2. pergolesi, giovanni battista,
  3. pergolide mesylate,
  4. pergonal,
  5. perh.,
  6. perhydrogenate,
  7. perhydrogenize,
  8. peri,
  9. peri, jacopo,
  10. peri-

Origin of perhaps

1520–30; earlier perhappes, perhapis by haps. See per, hap1, -s1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for perhaps

British Dictionary definitions for perhaps


/ (pəˈhæps, informal præps) /


  1. possibly; maybe
  2. (as sentence modifier)he'll arrive tomorrow, perhaps; perhaps you'll see him tomorrow

sentence substitute

it may happen, be so, etc; maybe

Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for perhaps



1520s, formed from Middle English per, par "by, through" (see per-) + plural of hap "chance" (see happen), on model of peradventure, perchance, etc. which now have been superseded by this word. Perhappons "possibly, by chance" is recorded from late 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper