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 Afterward, people often grab a meal or maybe head to a movie. Ben Kesslen, NBC News, "Path to recovery gets a detour as 12-step programs go remote," 22 Mar. 2020 Consider making big salads and maybe a stir-fry or two. Ac Shilton, Outside Online, "A Guide to Cooking and Eating During a Pandemic," 22 Mar. 2020 A few weeks ago—maybe even a few days ago—being asked to stay home with not much to do but watch Netflix and cycle through your collection of sweatpants might have sounded pretty good. Glamour, "Glamour Is Taking the Pledge to Stay Home. We Hope You'll Join Us," 21 Mar. 2020 When development will still take five more years, maybe there’s no time to lose. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Watch This Rocket Engine's 3D-Printed Thrust Chamber Ace a 'Hot Fire' Test," 20 Mar. 2020 In terms of like this sort of seething, ready-to-blow prison environment that people maybe think about? Chris Francescani, ABC News, "Fearing outbreaks and riots, nation’s prison and jail wardens scramble to respond to coronavirus threat," 19 Mar. 2020 But the fact is, some of these guns made perfect sense at the time, although maybe things didn’t work out as planned. David E. Petzal, Field & Stream, "Six of the Strangest Guns Ever Made," 18 Mar. 2020 So throw on some classic Irish tunes and maybe even bust out a jig in your living room. Annie O’sullivan, Woman's Day, "The Best St. Patrick's Day Activities For a Day Full of Fun," 16 Mar. 2020 Best guesses are that the virus can live on surfaces for two to 48 hours, maybe even longer, depending on the surface, temperature and humidity. Malia Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "I'm a UW-Madison health researcher. Here's what I told my friends about the coronavirus.," 10 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 With enough maybes, investors won’t have to worry about prosaic matters like Lyft stealing away riders and drivers. Owen Thomas, San Francisco Chronicle, "Uber is branching out. Is it more like Amazon or Yahoo?," 26 Apr. 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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Last Updated

27 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Maybe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Mar. 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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