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


maybe we can make it to the concert, if we hurry

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

But the youngest Americans, from kindergarten through senior year, who cannot buy a gun themselves except, maybe, in their last few months in school, are bearing an enormous, incalculable weight of trauma. Vogue, "The Year in School Shootings," 2 June 2019 Who knows, maybe some Instagram spon-con, too—anything could happen. De Elizabeth, Glamour, "Pete Davidson Walks in Alexander Wang Spring 2020 Fashion Show," 1 June 2019 In several ways, our bodies are still on the upward curve of development — even our menstrual cycles maybe more regular than in our teens! — and our brains and bones are growing to their full potential. Nicole Saporita, Good Housekeeping, "The Science of How Your Body Ages," 29 May 2019 Grey Worm goes on a rogue killing spree during the Siege of King’s Landing, but ultimately decides to take himself and the Unsullied (and maybe the Dothraki?) to Naath, because he’s done with all the Westeros politics stuff. Carrie Wittmer, Harper's BAZAAR, "Game of Thrones: Why It's Significant That Grey Worm Is Going to Naath," 28 May 2019 So, maybe the less-dramatic takeaway is that particular format isn't really enticing for fans at home? Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Will 'American Idol' Be Canceled After the 2019 Season? Here's What the Ratings Really Mean," 27 Apr. 2019 Here's a wild guess—a California King sized bed, a walk-in closet, the softest sheets money can buy, and maybe even a luxury hotel-worthy bathroom complete with an enormous jacuzzi. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "This Company Let Kids Draw Their Dream Rooms—And Then Brought Them to Life," 19 Apr. 2019 Sure, maybe not a queen of the same caliber, but a queen nonetheless. Elissa Sanci, Woman's Day, "I Ate Like Queen Elizabeth For a Week, and It Was a Royal Pain," 18 Apr. 2019 The look is pared back, maybe even minimalist, often with the subject staring straight down the camera lens—and while nearly all of his images are black-and-white, every subject’s colorful persona shines through. Todd Plummer, Vogue, "“Kate Moss Doesn’t Need a Palm Tree”—David Bailey Opens Up About His New SUMO-size Book From Taschen," 8 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 What was left in the West was a collection of maybes or could-have-beens. John Cherwa,, "This year's Kentucky Derby could be a west side story," 23 Mar. 2018 There are a lot of ifs and maybes, but his desire to play with the Rangers isn’t either. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Darvish is perfect present for Rangers, if owners want to do it," 24 Dec. 2017 One has extremely short odds, a few are maybes, and one is a long shot that we're bound by celebrity law to include. Jeffrey Lee Puckett, The Courier-Journal, "ESPN's College GameDay needs a guest picker, and Bryson Tiller is a top candidate," 14 Sep. 2017

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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Dictionary Entries near maybe



May basket


may beetle



Statistics for maybe

Last Updated

6 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for maybe

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

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with maybe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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