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 Look for brands with as few ingredients as possible—just nuts and maybe salt. Maggie O'neill,, "There Might Be a Meat Shortage In the US—Here Are 8 Protein-Filled Foods to Try If You Can’t Buy Meat," 30 Apr. 2020 Plus, the simple designs pair with any Chasing Paper wallpaper—so maybe now is the time to add a little pattern to your home, too! Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Chasing Paper Releases New Wallpaper for Staying Organized at Home," 30 Apr. 2020 Perhaps, Red Sox fans took the warning seriously, or maybe some resented the fact that the players nearly went on strike over diminished playoff bonuses before Game Five. Randy Roberts And Johnny Smith, Smithsonian Magazine, "When Babe Ruth and the Great Influenza Gripped Boston," 30 Apr. 2020 Wide receiver and maybe quarterback are also options at No. 20. Arizona Republic, "Isaiah Simmons to Arizona Cardinals: NFL insider stays with Clemson LB in final mock draft," 22 Apr. 2020 The things that do and don’t upset Ramona are baffling to me, but maybe that just comes with her newfound vulnerability. Jodi Walker,, "Real Housewives of New York City," 17 Apr. 2020 With apologies to anyone seeking a cosmic excuse for personal woes, maybe the universe is not so directionless after all. Lee Billings, Scientific American, "Do We Live in a Lopsided Universe?," 15 Apr. 2020 In working their way out of the current crisis, maybe some good will come from the coronavirus outbreak. oregonlive, "Oregon State athletics taking a $7 million revenue hit this spring, but AD Scott Barnes encouraged about football," 9 Apr. 2020 So far, Jewitt tells Popular Mechanics, only a small fragment—maybe about a tenth of a percent of the total mass—has come off of the roughly 1,600-foot-wide body. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Comets Are Breaking Apart in Our Cosmic Backyard, and Astronomers Are Stoked," 8 Apr. 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

8 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Maybe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 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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