Definition of maybe in English:



  • Perhaps; possibly.

    ‘maybe I won't go back’
    ‘he was standing maybe 20 or 30 feet away’
    • ‘So, why is it not possible to stagger half term and summer breaks for maybe a week by county?’
    • ‘They're given to guys who have maybe had an injury or who are suffering from a drink problem.’
    • ‘Then again, maybe if I ask nicely, the boss will let me string a hammock under my desk.’
    • ‘Playing for the club you supported as a boy and live nearby, maybe you take that for granted.’
    • ‘We were at Kempton when he won the King George and we just thought that maybe this was going to be his day.’
    • ‘He's a better player, maybe because the type of ball he receives here suits his game.’
    • ‘Does he ever wonder if maybe by now he should have grown out of his grand obsession with football?’
    • ‘He's not been able to show it recently but I feel he's maybe needing a goal or two to give him a lift.’
    • ‘Maybe it was part of a grand plan or maybe that's what he would want us to think.’
    • ‘If we manage to beat them in the league this year, well, maybe we will win the league.’
    • ‘You can set up your kids, and maybe even their kids, while doing something you enjoy.’
    • ‘Maybe it was the Christmas feeling or maybe it was just the way she looked at me.’
    • ‘He doesn't look his age, but then few of these men do, maybe because they don't act it.’
    • ‘It was maybe a mother's instinct which made me believe that somehow it would all work out.’
    • ‘I don't know, but maybe the millions who saw her on the news would like to know if the baby was a boy or a girl.’
    • ‘Certainly now it is not possible to provide this level of service, and maybe it never was.’
    • ‘We felt it was maybe the time to let him go because we were waiting on the next bit of front-page news.’
    • ‘Last season we thought we were good enough to win the title, but maybe not mature enough.’
    • ‘Well, it was hard, but maybe you realise that a normal person can go out and do what they are doing.’
    • ‘So basically, it's as good as it used to be, but maybe that's not good enough any more.’
    perhaps, possibly, conceivably, for all one knows
    peradventure, perchance, mayhap, haply
    View synonyms


  • A mere possibility or probability.

    ‘no ifs, buts, or maybes’
    • ‘The Pacific has been a division full of maybes.’
    • ‘The difference was, it made specific claims about Earth's history that could be disproven - thoroughly, with no wiggle room, no maybes, just plain wrong.’
    • ‘Solid facts are few and far between; we're forced to make our way based on hypotheticals and maybes and historical analogies.’
    • ‘It is all ifs, buts and maybes but I have been pleased with him over the length of time that he has been here and this little spell that he's been having has been terrific.’
    • ‘We want to leave their consulting room with a definitive answer, a solid diagnosis, not ifs and maybes.’
    • ‘And we can all sit here and name another hundred maybes, any of which could change the dynamic of the election.’
    • ‘Then there are the potential maybes, fraught with fewer hazards.’
    • ‘It is not a case of maybes, ifs and buts, it is a case that someone has to come in in the next five weeks for us to continue.’
    • ‘I'm not talking about ifs, buts and maybes but times when there should have been dead-set tries.’
    • ‘I expected him to come back with a handful of candidates and a few more maybes.’
    • ‘It's all a bunch of maybes.’
    • ‘Whatever the case, such ifs and maybes are certainly in keeping with the very essence of salmon fishing.’
    • ‘My mind was swimming with what ifs, ands, buts and maybes.’
    • ‘Considering how few maybes there have been in his life, this concession is huge.’
    • ‘In place of concrete evidence and facts, it substitutes possibilities, intentions and maybes.’
    • ‘‘We've a confidential list of probables, possibles and maybes in terms of medals,’ she confides.’
    • ‘Those who have to take their big career decision this year can add this to their list of maybes - a chance to enter the exciting hi-tech world of computers.’
    • ‘He insists he hasn't focused on the what, ifs and maybes.’
    • ‘He'd spent too many years wondering about maybes.’
    • ‘Now, there's no ifs, buts and maybes about that.’


Late Middle English: from the phrase it may be (that).