Definition of perhaps in US English:

perhaps

adverb

  • 1Used to express uncertainty or possibility.

    ‘perhaps I should have been frank with him’
    • ‘I receive perhaps four or five such requests during the course of a typical week.’
    • ‘Any attempt to strive for a better life is likely to be viewed with scorn and perhaps even presented as dangerous.’
    • ‘Just for the record, I am not brave, perhaps a bit foolhardy, and just as scared of dying as the next man.’
    • ‘Irish patience is wearing thin, but perhaps there is light at the end of the tunnel?’
    • ‘I feel like I've been drifting a bit, perhaps sitting back and taking it all in too much.’
    • ‘We have perhaps not seen the definitive version of the car yet - and certainly not of the engine.’
    • ‘It was time to learn just who that other man was, and perhaps what sort of task he had been requested to perform.’
    • ‘Some want to question, to weigh up the alternatives, to perhaps seek a second opinion.’
    • ‘Ahead I see it, a sea tree, perhaps the first ever to be observed by a diver.’
    • ‘In short, we still believe, perhaps more than ever, that literature is political.’
    • ‘So perhaps the entangled cards do not have any colour prior to their measurement.’
    • ‘The polls say he can't win, he says, with that glint that suggests perhaps he can.’
    • ‘Refugees would require a bit of training and perhaps a few weeks' worth of labor.’
    • ‘The game is said to be good for two players as well as maybe four and perhaps as many as five can play it.’
    • ‘But perhaps more than ever there are many moorland paths overgrown with the heather.’
    • ‘Extreme acceleration is definitely a possibility, and perhaps even inevitable.’
    • ‘He kissed her more urgently now, as though she was the only woman he had ever loved, and perhaps she was.’
    • ‘The film has been missing in action ever since and perhaps now we know the reason.’
    • ‘The weather patterns suggest that we will have a winter season, perhaps a good one.’
    • ‘It would simply give someone else the power to pay bills, perhaps for a credit card, from their account.’
    maybe, for all i know, for all you know, it could be, it could be that, it may be, it may be that, it is possible, it is possible that, possibly, conceivably, feasibly
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    1. 1.1 Used when one does not wish to be too definite or assertive in the expression of an opinion.
      ‘perhaps not surprisingly, he was cautious about committing himself’
      • ‘There are a lot of interactive exhibits and perhaps it is a bit too modern.’
      • ‘The word lug is Scandinavian in origin so perhaps there is a bit of Viking left in all of us.’
      • ‘At the same time, it would be perhaps a bit rash to suppose that much smaller surfaces would fail to be flat as well.’
      • ‘This part of the original story is translated surprisingly literally, perhaps even too much so.’
      • ‘Calls for the city to be even more continental are perhaps a bit unrealistic, she says.’
      • ‘Anyway, once they tax us, perhaps we'll be bit more moderate about our plastic bag habit.’
      • ‘The level of their club football perhaps drops a wee bit because of that so they have to counteract that now.’
      • ‘With that goes the not perhaps always totally acceptable thing of being a public figure.’
      • ‘It was perhaps a bit cruel on them because a draw would have been a fairer result.’
      • ‘Like most people in the town he is, surprisingly perhaps, proud of the monkey business.’
      • ‘Surprisingly, perhaps, they have decided to enrol the children in local schools.’
      • ‘However, it tends to be lax in dealing with matters that are perhaps a bit more important.’
      • ‘We certainly enjoy our freedom, perhaps even taking a bit of pride in our defence of the right of conscience.’
      • ‘She closed the door, which was perhaps a bit rude, and went to find her older sister.’
      • ‘Ally that with a network of buses going to the hospital and perhaps a bit of the dreadful congestion might be eased.’
      • ‘This agreement was perhaps in itself enough to prevent the partition of China.’
      • ‘We passed the ball a little bit but perhaps not as much as the manager would have liked.’
      • ‘He referred to the definition of a young person as perhaps being a bit broad.’
      • ‘I went for another interview today, which could, perhaps, pose a bit of a dilemma.’
      • ‘That letter led, perhaps not surprisingly, to the launch of these proceedings.’
    2. 1.2 Used when making a polite request, offer, or suggestion.
      ‘would you perhaps consent to act as our guide?’
      • ‘So I shall have a look at the tonics on offer and perhaps get her something to try and buck her up a bit.’
      • ‘I hope he will have as many stories as his father to tell, or perhaps I should wish him a few less.’
      • ‘Would it be too rude to suggest perhaps some of these poor grades were all they deserved?’
      • ‘They suggested that one of the stories could perhaps be expanded to become a novel.’
      • ‘Could he not perhaps have suggested getting a mate in to help?’
      • ‘I suggest, perhaps, that he was grappling with the one thing we all had a sense of.’
      • ‘He suggests that perhaps I get together a group of friends and buy the horse as a syndicate.’
      • ‘I suggested that perhaps he could go to the dog track with his uncle and take a chance.’
      • ‘We were going to suggest perhaps a date early in May for the plaintiffs and early in June for us.’
      • ‘I suggested that perhaps he needed to eat too and so the two of us went into the kitchen and had sandwiches together.’
      • ‘She suggested to him that perhaps it would be wise if he left by the back door.’
      • ‘We might perhaps get on better if we looked at the Act rather than at press releases.’
      • ‘If it were enclosed enough to offer any protection, then perhaps it could be described as a walkway.’

Origin

Late 15th century: from per + hap.

Pronunciation

perhaps

/pərˈ(h)aps//pərˈ(h)æps/