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Definition of MAYBE

4 definitions found:



May \May\ (m[=a]), v. [imp. {Might} (m[imac]t)] [AS. pres. maeg I am able, pret. meahte, mihte; akin to D. mogen, G. m["o]gen, OHG. mugan, magan, Icel. mega, Goth. magan, Russ. moche. [root]103. Cf. {Dismay}, {Main} strength, {Might}. The old imp. mought is obsolete, except as a provincial word.] An auxiliary verb qualifying the meaning of another verb, by expressing: (a) Ability, competency, or possibility; -- now oftener expressed by {can}. [1913 Webster]

               How may a man, said he, with idle speech, Be won to spoil the castle of his health!
                                                    --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

               For what he [the king] may do is of two kinds; what he may do as just, and what he may do as possible.
                                                    --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

               For of all sad words of tongue or pen The saddest are these: "It might have been."
                                                    --Whittier. [1913 Webster] (b) Liberty; permission; allowance. [1913 Webster]

               Thou mayst be no longer steward.     --Luke xvi. 2. [1913 Webster] (c) Contingency or liability; possibility or probability. [1913 Webster]

               Though what he learns he speaks, and may advance Some general maxims, or be right by chance. --Pope. [1913 Webster] (d) Modesty, courtesy, or concession, or a desire to soften a question or remark. [1913 Webster]

               How old may Phillis be, you ask.     --Prior. [1913 Webster] (e) Desire or wish, as in prayer, imprecation, benediction, and the like. "May you live happily." --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

     {May be}, & {It may be}, are used as equivalent to {possibly}, {perhaps}, {maybe}, {by chance}, {peradventure}. See 1st {Maybe}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]

Maybe \May"be\, adv. [For it may be.]
     Perhaps; possibly; peradventure.
     [1913 Webster]

           Maybe the amorous count solicits her.    --Shak. [1913 Webster]

           In a liberal and, maybe, somewhat reckless way.
                                                    --Tylor. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]

Maybe \May"be\, a.
     Possible; probable, but not sure. [R.]
     [1913 Webster]

           Then add those maybe years thou hast to live. --Driden. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]

Maybe \May"be\, n.
     Possibility; uncertainty. [R.]
     [1913 Webster]

           What they offer is mere maybe and shift. --Creech. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]


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