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

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 This is the eventual fate of the sun, and Mercury, Venus, and Earth (and maybe even Mars) will be shredded as the sun expands into this red giant phase. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Think They've Found a Dead Planetary Core Orbiting a Dead Star," 4 Apr. 2019 As one of the most powerful couples in the entertainment industry (and maybe the country), the Carters ran into a slew of fellow celebrities at the event. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Actor Omari Hardwick Kissed Beyoncé Twice at the NAACP Image Awards and Her Fans Were Not Happy," 1 Apr. 2019 But there are also some reasons for skepticism — maybe giving people money in disasters just results in bidding-up of scarce supplies. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "Why disaster relief is so hard," 25 Mar. 2019 Then again, maybe the commander-in chief was just looking for a buddy? Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: Can a Flagpole File a Harassment Lawsuit?," 10 Mar. 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

9 May 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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What made you want to look up maybe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


using a distributed computer network

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