Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

maybe - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adverb maybe pronunciation in British English /ˈmeɪbi/
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
Maybe can be used in the following ways:
as a sentence adverb, making a comment on the whole sentence or clause: Maybe I’ll come too.
as an ordinary adverb (before a number): There were maybe 15 people there.
  1. 1
    used for showing that you are not sure whether something is true or whether something will happen

    Maybe it will snow tonight and school will be cancelled.

    Maybe Julie was right when she said I was jealous.

    ‘When can you give me an answer?’ ‘I don’t know. Maybe tomorrow.’

    ‘Do you think he really loves you?’ ‘Maybe. I’m not sure.’

    maybe...maybe not:

    Maybe things will improve, but then again, maybe not.

    1. a.
      used when you are guessing a number or amount

      The whole process takes maybe ten or fifteen minutes.

      Hundreds – maybe thousands – were killed.

  2. 2
    spoken used for making a suggestion when you are not sure what to do

    Maybe we should call a doctor.

  3. 3
    spoken used for asking someone to do something, without saying directly that you want them to do it

    Maybe you could do a little job for me?

    Maybe someone could explain to me what’s going on around here?

  4. 4
    used for saying what sometimes happens

    At weekends she would drive into Oxford, do the shopping, and maybe visit a few friends.



to fall over forwards so that your face hits the ground or another surface

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


the activity of exploring abandoned buildings and other manmade structures

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play