Definition of maybe in English:



  • Perhaps; possibly.

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

    ‘no ifs, buts, or maybes’
    • ‘Solid facts are few and far between; we're forced to make our way based on hypotheticals and maybes and historical analogies.’
    • ‘Considering how few maybes there have been in his life, this concession is huge.’
    • ‘It's all a bunch of maybes.’
    • ‘We want to leave their consulting room with a definitive answer, a solid diagnosis, not ifs and maybes.’
    • ‘The Pacific has been a division full of maybes.’
    • ‘I expected him to come back with a handful of candidates and a few more maybes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And we can all sit here and name another hundred maybes, any of which could change the dynamic of the election.’
    • ‘I'm not talking about ifs, buts and maybes but times when there should have been dead-set tries.’
    • ‘In place of concrete evidence and facts, it substitutes possibilities, intentions and maybes.’
    • ‘He insists he hasn't focused on the what, ifs and 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.’
    • ‘He'd spent too many years wondering about maybes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Now, there's no ifs, buts and maybes about that.’
    • ‘Then there are the potential maybes, fraught with fewer hazards.’
    • ‘‘We've a confidential list of probables, possibles and maybes in terms of medals,’ she confides.’


  • that's as maybe

    • Used to admit the truth of a point in an argument before introducing another, more important point.

      ‘well, that's as maybe but it's not the way the BBC works’
      • ‘Well, that's as maybe, but, I wonder, could you take me to this palace of yours so I can talk to my father?’
      • ‘Well, that's as maybe, but he's also a man who regarded murder and terror as an acceptable way of advancing political ends.’
      • ‘Now, that's as maybe - but it does get you thinking about the history of the monkey in popular music.’


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