peradventure

1 of 2

noun

per·​ad·​ven·​ture ˈpər-əd-ˌven-chər How to pronounce peradventure (audio)
ˈper-;
ˌpər-əd-ˈven-,
ˌper-
1
: doubt
a fact established beyond peradventure
2
: chance sense 4a
beyond peradventure of doubt

peradventure

2 of 2

adverb

archaic

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....," writes Irving in 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."

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
My general take is my son’s father-in-law is pretty much sanctimonious beyond all peradventure. Washington Post, 6 Apr. 2021 My general take is my son's father-in-law is pretty much sanctimonious beyond all peradventure. The Washington Post, 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.

Word History

Etymology

Adverb

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

First Known Use

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Podcast

Dictionary Entries Near peradventure

Cite this Entry

“Peradventure.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/peradventure. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

peradventure 1 of 2

adverb

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

peradventure

2 of 2

noun

: a possibility of error or uncertainty
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