mayhap

adverb
may·​hap | \ ˈmā-ˌhap How to pronounce mayhap (audio) , mā-ˈhap How to pronounce mayhap (audio) \

Definition of mayhap

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If "mayhap" looks to you like a relative of its synonym "perhaps," you're right - the words are related. Both ultimately derive from the Middle English noun hap, meaning "chance" or "fortune." "Mayhap" was formed by combining the phrase "(it) may hap" into a single word. "Hap" here is a verb essentially meaning "happen" (the word maybe, another synonym of "mayhap" and "perhaps," was developed similarly from "may" and the verb "be"), and the verb "hap" comes from the noun "hap." "Perhaps" came about when "per" (meaning "through the agency of") was combined directly with the noun "hap" to form one word. Today "mayhap" is a rare word in contrast with the very common "maybe" and "perhaps," but it does show up occasionally.

Examples of mayhap in a Sentence

mayhap I could see you again next week? I so enjoyed our date tonight

First Known Use of mayhap

circa 1531, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mayhap

from the phrase may hap

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The first known use of mayhap was circa 1531

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Cite this Entry

“Mayhap.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mayhap. Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

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