per·​chance | \ pər-ˈchan(t)s How to pronounce perchance (audio) \

Definition of perchance

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of perchance in a Sentence

“To sleep: perchance to dream…” — Shakespeare, Hamlet perchance he is playing the devil's advocate, and the opinions he has expressed are not actually his own

Recent Examples on the Web

To sleep, perchance to heal A report in the journal Nature Communications adds to the list of sleep’s benefits. Magnus Wennman, National Geographic, "See our three favorite scientific breakthroughs this month," 17 June 2019 To sleep, perchance to dream of a giant plate of nachos. Gray Chapman, SELF, "A Nightmare About Nachos Made Me Realize That Dieting Was Causing Me Food Anxiety," 27 Mar. 2019 Its members liked to call themselves kleagles, goblins and other names of darkling potency, to meet in solemn 'konklaves,' burn a fiery cross upon a distant hill and, perchance, frighten a Negro child outnumbered 100 to 1. The Washington Post,, "An Alabama-born preacher helped revive the KKK in 1915," 10 Apr. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of perchance

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for perchance

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about perchance

Statistics for perchance

Last Updated

25 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for perchance

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for perchance



English Language Learners Definition of perchance

old-fashioned + literary : maybe but not definitely


per·​chance | \ pər-ˈchans How to pronounce perchance (audio) \

Kids Definition of perchance

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on perchance

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with perchance

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for perchance

Britannica English: Translation of perchance for Arabic Speakers

Comments on perchance

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


a period when something is suspended

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!