may·​be | \ ˈmā-bē How to pronounce maybe (audio) also ˈme- \

Definition of maybe

 (Entry 1 of 2)



Definition of maybe (Entry 2 of 2)

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Examples of maybe in a Sentence

Adverb maybe we can make it to the concert, if we hurry
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb But maybe the most striking thing was oozing along a wet trail by our boots: a Pacific banana slug. Anchorage Daily News, "A look at the banana slugs that ooze over coastal Alaska," 1 Aug. 2020 Pitt has so much talent on defense and maybe the best defensive line in the conference. Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, "Can Louisville football make ACC championship with new schedule? We break it down," 31 July 2020 With private institutions, maybe people are trying to sell you things. Julia Lane, The Conversation, "Video: Who controls pandemic data?," 31 July 2020 Is the Pac-12 maybe thinking a 3-0 Ducks, Huskies or Trojans team might make the playoff if all of college football is thrown on its head? oregonlive, "Canzano: Pac-12′s football plan is wishful, but I’m rooting like heck for it," 31 July 2020 Knowing that people might get a sense of joy out of listening to a game, maybe a little sense of normalcy. Bruce Jenkins,, "A’s get back in the radio game, at the perfect time," 31 July 2020 So, the political process was energizing for you, maybe? The Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax Live: 'Even the dog'," 31 July 2020 Or maybe that baseline level itself would prove enough to be protective. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, "Concerns about Waning COVID-19 Immunity Are Likely Overblown," 31 July 2020 The long layoff also could have helped veteran players on the Stars roster come back healthier, and maybe that means seeing a more physical Jamie Benn. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "Everything you need to know about the Stars and the NHL’s return to play," 30 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But panicking, or fretting over what ifs and maybes several months down the road, is pointless. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: It's far too early to freak out about the coronavirus ruining the Tokyo Olympics," 26 Feb. 2020 Clutching his whip count of yeses, noes and maybes, Mr. McConnell appeared to be suggesting that undecided senators needed to make up their minds and join the majority of their colleagues in opposing witnesses. Nicholas Fandos, New York Times, "Trump’s Defense Team Discounts Bolton as Republicans Work to Hold Off Witnesses," 28 Jan. 2020 Maybe Apple will redesign the keyboard or maybe Intel will finally deliver a better processor or maybe, well, there are a lot of maybes. Dieter Bohn, The Verge, "Apple MacBook Air (2019) review: the new normal," 17 July 2019 But that’s a lot of maybes to receive in return for an MVP finalist and perennial DPOY candidate. Rohan Nadkarni,, "Clippers Acquire Paul George From Thunder in Most Shocking Move of the Summer," 6 July 2019 My heart accelerated through all the scenes of waiting, by the phone and at the doctor's office, the shots, the treatment plans, the maybe, maybe, maybes, and sorry, sorry, sorrys. Elissa Strauss, Glamour, "This Netflix Movie Perfectly Pinpoints What's So Maddening About IVF," 11 Oct. 2018 But those maybes had always been accompanied by a long list of reasons why a virus wouldn't work. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Using a virus to kill what antibiotics can’t," 18 July 2018 All of those maybes should help to explain the outsize popularity of SpongeBob’s BFF Patrick. Michael Andor Brodeur,, "How did Patrick Star of ‘SpongeBob’ become a meme phenomenon?," 12 July 2018 That’s a lot of ifs, maybes and calculations, something that few people in any corner wish to have more of in a program that is already confounding. Ron Lieber, New York Times, "How to Apply for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Fix-It Fund," 23 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'maybe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of maybe


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1598, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for maybe

Time Traveler

The first known use of maybe was in the 15th century

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Statistics for maybe

Last Updated

4 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Maybe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce maybe (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of maybe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: possibly but not certainly



English Language Learners Definition of maybe (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is not known for certain


may·​be | \ ˈmā-bē How to pronounce maybe (audio) \

Kids Definition of maybe

: possibly but not certainly

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More from Merriam-Webster on maybe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for maybe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with maybe

Spanish Central: Translation of maybe

Nglish: Translation of maybe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of maybe for Arabic Speakers

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