perhaps - definition and synonyms


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Perhaps can be used in the following ways:
as a sentence adverb (making a comment on the whole sentence or clause): Perhaps we’ve met before.
as an ordinary adverb (before a number): He was perhaps 95.
  1. 1
    used for saying that you are not certain about something, or that something may or may not be true

    I wondered if perhaps he had fallen ill.

    It is perhaps not a good idea for a seven-year-old to use a calculator.

    1. a.
      used when you are guessing a number or amount or are not certain about it

      There were perhaps a dozen women in the audience.

      Cook the potatoes until they are tender – perhaps 15 minutes.

  2. 2
    spoken used when you are making a suggestion, giving advice, or making a polite request

    You don’t look well – perhaps you should go to the doctor.

    Perhaps we could all go out and have a meal sometime?

    Perhaps you can explain what went wrong?

  3. 3
    used for giving an opinion when you want to be polite and not seem too certain or definite

    Perhaps it would be better for his party if he resigned.

    His latest novel is perhaps his best.

  4. 4
    spoken used as a polite reply to someone when you do not completely agree with what they have said

    ‘I think he must have made a mistake.’ ‘Yes, perhaps.’