per·​haps | \pər-ˈhaps, 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

conceivably, maybe, mayhap, perchance, possibly

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Examples of perhaps in a Sentence


perhaps we will not have to take this exam, but I doubt it

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

But perhaps the most talked-about transformation was Justin Bieber's matrimonial buzz cut, which ushered in a dramatically different look to mark his newlywed status—as the old adage goes, after all: change your hair, change your life. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "The Celebrity Hair Transformations That Ruled 2018," 9 Dec. 2018 Humility is perhaps the most difficult thing of all in the social media age, which endlessly rewards the sharp, clear take, the one that might go viral. David Roberts, Vox, "My advice for aspiring explainer journalists," 9 Dec. 2018 If so, is that deliberate, perhaps because those tasks are being handed off to some of the other specialized logic blocks? Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Meet Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855: AI boosts, a smarter camera, mobile gaming—and bye-bye, JPEG," 5 Dec. 2018 Steyn gained a key insight from The Afrikaans Children’s Encyclopedia, perhaps while reading it to his own children. Rob Dunn, Discover Magazine, "Our Attempts to Eradicate Insects are Just Making them Resistant to Pesticides," 16 Nov. 2018 But perhaps most importantly, people are obsessed with it. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "People Swear By This Green Tea Mattress On Amazon," 18 Oct. 2018 But perhaps one of the best parts about the movie is that both children and adults can tune in for Bella's journey. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "The 'A Dog's Way Home' Trailer Will Make You Ugly Cry," 16 Oct. 2018 Over the past few weeks, thousands of women have called their senators, traveled to Washington, D.C., to protest, and — perhaps most importantly — have told their stories. Cecile Richards, Teen Vogue, "Cecile Richards Writes Response to Kavanaugh Votes, Thanking Senator Lisa Murkowski," 5 Oct. 2018 And the court's upcoming term is relatively free of blockbuster cases -- perhaps by design. Gregg Re, Fox News, "GOP senators defend Kavanaugh as exasperation mounts: 'We're in the Twilight Zone,' Graham says," 24 Sep. 2018

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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Statistics for perhaps

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for perhaps

The first known use of perhaps was circa 1520

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More Definitions for perhaps



English Language Learners Definition of perhaps

: possibly but not certainly


per·​haps | \pər-ˈhaps \

Kids Definition of perhaps

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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with perhaps

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for perhaps

Spanish Central: Translation of perhaps

Nglish: Translation of perhaps for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of perhaps for Arabic Speakers

Comments on perhaps

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


having a pattern of small flowers

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