Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1400-1500
Origin: per + haps, plural of hap 'chance' (13-20 centuries) ( HAPPY)

perhaps

adverb
     
per‧haps S2 W1
1 used to say that something may be true, but you are not sure [= maybe]:
Perhaps she's next door.
Perhaps it will snow tomorrow.
It won't take so long next time, perhaps.
'I don't think you understand.' 'Well, perhaps not.'
! May or might usually sounds more natural than perhaps ... will: You may be a little surprised when you receive this letter.
2 used to give your opinion, when you do not want to be too definite [= maybe]:
This is perhaps her finest novel yet.
The industrial revolution was, perhaps, the most important event in history.
3 used to say that a number is only a guess [= maybe]:
The room was large, perhaps twenty feet square.
Perhaps 200 people were there.
4 spoken used to politely ask or suggest something, or say what you are going to do [= maybe]:
I thought perhaps we'd have lunch in the garden.

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