per·​ad·​ven·​ture | \ ˈpər-əd-ˌven-chər How to pronounce peradventure (audio) , ˈper-; ˌpər-əd-ˈven-, ˌper- \

Definition of peradventure

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : doubt a fact established beyond peradventure
2 : chance sense 4a beyond peradventure of doubt



Definition of peradventure (Entry 2 of 2)


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Did You Know?


When Middle English speakers borrowed "par aventure" from Anglo-French (in which language it means, literally, "by chance"), it was as an adverb meaning "perhaps" or "possibly." Before long, the word was anglicized to "peradventure," and turned into a noun as well. The adverb is now archaic, though Washington Irving and other writers were still using it in the 19th century ("If peradventure some straggling merchant ... should stop at his door with his cart load of tin ware...." - "A History of New York"). The noun senses we use today tend to show up in the phrase "beyond peradventure" in contexts relating to proving or demonstrating something. The "chance" sense is usually used in the phrase "beyond peradventure of doubt."

Examples of peradventure in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun My general take is my son's father-in-law is pretty much sanctimonious beyond all peradventure. The Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax Live: 'Subs can save a game, even coming in late off the bench.'," 27 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'peradventure.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of peradventure


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for peradventure


Middle English par aventure, from Anglo-French, by chance

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Time Traveler for peradventure

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The first known use of peradventure was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Peradventure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Sep. 2020.

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