per·​haps | \ pər-ˈhaps How to pronounce perhaps (audio) , ˈpraps \

Definition of perhaps

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: possibly but not certainly : maybe



Definition of perhaps (Entry 2 of 2)

: something open to doubt or conjecture

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Synonyms for perhaps

Synonyms: Adverb

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Examples of perhaps in a Sentence

Adverb perhaps we will not have to take this exam, but I doubt it
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The cold pattern looks to ease late in the week, along with a moderation in temperatures and, perhaps, a slight quieting of the weather pattern currently affecting the country. Matthew Cappucci,, "Historic Arctic outbreak brings dangerous cold, snow, and ice to central and southern US," 14 Feb. 2021 Denny Hamlin, considered perhaps the best NASCAR driver without a Cup Series championship, can look past that hole on his record. Tim Bielik, cleveland, "Daytona 500 free live stream (2/14/2021): How to watch," 14 Feb. 2021 Yes, the Twins look like a solid ballclub, perhaps a playoff team again. Star Tribune, "Twins look good again, but a higher bar is in play," 13 Feb. 2021 Busch starts 20th in the No. 1 Chevrolet in Sunday’s Daytona 500, perhaps his last one. Dan Gelston, ajc, "Ready to retire? Kurt Busch leaves NASCAR fans guessing," 13 Feb. 2021 As perhaps the second-most conservative member of a Democratic Senate caucus that can’t afford to lose a single vote to pass its agenda, Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema has a great deal of leverage. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, "Call Kyrsten Sinema’s Bluff," 13 Feb. 2021 On a day when Chris Duarte wasn’t shooting well, Oregon’s best player came through with perhaps the biggest shot of his career and the Ducks’ season so far. oregonlive, "Chris Duarte hits game-winning three to get Oregon men’s basketball past Arizona," 13 Feb. 2021 The only criticisms from Utah legislators was that perhaps the bill didn’t go far enough. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Five big actions from Utah lawmakers this week," 13 Feb. 2021 In 2018, Alex Ross of The New Yorker reflected on the centenary celebrations for Leonard Bernstein, perhaps the greatest public advocate that classical music has ever had. Jonathan Gharraie, The Atlantic, "Can Caroline Shaw Make Classical Cool?," 13 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'perhaps.' 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 perhaps


circa 1520, in the meaning defined above


1534, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for perhaps


per + hap

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Time Traveler for perhaps

Time Traveler

The first known use of perhaps was circa 1520

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Statistics for perhaps

Last Updated

21 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Perhaps.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for perhaps



English Language Learners Definition of perhaps

: possibly but not certainly


per·​haps | \ pər-ˈhaps How to pronounce perhaps (audio) \

Kids Definition of perhaps

: possibly but not certainly : maybe Perhaps we'll go.

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