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Definition of PERHAPS

3 definitions found:

Perhaps \Per*haps"\ (p[~e]r*h[a^]ps"), adv. [Per + hap chance.] Posibly; by chance; peradventure; perchance; it may be. [1913 Webster]

           And pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.                        --Acts viii.
                                                    22. [1913 Webster]

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

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 mought is obsolete, except as a provincial word.]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]

22 Moby Thesaurus words for "perhaps":
     blind guess, bold conjecture, conceivably, conjecture, feasibly, guess, haply, hunch, imaginably, it may be, maybe, perchance, possibly, rough guess, shot, speculation, stab, suppose, supposition, surmise, unverified supposition, wild guess

Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 [moby-thesaurus]

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