perhaps meaning, perhaps definition | English Cobuild dictionary

Collins

perhaps

  
1       adv   You use perhaps to express uncertainty, for example, when you do not know that something is definitely true, or when you are mentioning something that may possibly happen in the future in the way you describe.  
ADV with cl/group     (vagueness)    (=maybe)  
Millson regarded her thoughtfully. Perhaps she was right..., In the end they lose millions, perhaps billions..., It was bulky, perhaps three feet long and almost as high..., Perhaps, in time, the message will get through..., They'd come soon, perhaps when the radio broadcast was over.     
2       adv   You use perhaps in opinions and remarks to make them appear less definite or more polite.  
ADV with cl/group     (vagueness)    Perhaps the most important lesson to be learned is that you simply cannot please everyone..., His very last paintings are perhaps the most puzzling..., Do you perhaps disapprove of Agatha Christie and her Poirot and Miss Marple?...     
3       adv   You use perhaps when you are making suggestions or giving advice. Perhaps is also used in formal English to introduce requests.  
ADV with cl     (politeness)    Perhaps I may be permitted a few suggestions..., Well, perhaps you'll come and see us at our place?...     
4       adv   You can say perhaps as a response to a question or remark, when you do not want to agree or accept, but think that it would be rude to disagree or refuse.  
ADV as reply  
`I'm sure we can make it,' he says. Perhaps, but it will not be easy.     
Translation English - Cobuild Collins Dictionary  
Collins

perhaps

  
  
as the case may be, conceivably, feasibly, for all one knows, it may be, maybe, perchance     (archaic)   possibly  

English Collins Dictionary - English synonyms & Thesaurus  

See also:

per, perch, perish, perishable

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"Collins Cobuild English Dictionary for Advanced Learners 4th edition published in 2003 © HarperCollins Publishers 1987, 1995, 2001, 2003 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"