per·haps BrE [pəˈhæps]
BrE [præps]
NAmE [pərˈhæps]
1. possibly
Syn: maybe
‘Are you going to come?’ ‘Perhaps. I'll see how I feel.’
Perhaps he's forgotten.
2. used when you want to make a statement or opinion less definite
This is perhaps his best novel to date.
3. used when making a rough estimate
a change which could affect perhaps 20% of the population
4. used when you agree or accept sth unwillingly, or do not want to say strongly that you disapprove
‘You could do it yourself.’ ‘Yeah, perhaps.’
5. used when making a polite request, offer or suggestion
Perhaps it would be better if you came back tomorrow.
I think perhaps you've had enough to drink tonight.
Perhaps you'd like to have a wash before the others arrive.
Perhaps you would be good enough to let him know we are on our way.
Word Origin:
[perhaps] late 15th cent.: from per + hap ‘chance’.
Language Bank:
Making an opinion sound less definite
Most cybercrime involves traditional crimes, such as theft and fraud, being committed in new ways. Phishing is perhaps / possibly / probably the best-known example of this.
It seems / appears that the more personal data which organizations collect, the more opportunity there is for this data to be lost or stolen.
It seems clear that introducing national ID cards would do little to prevent identity theft.
It could be argued that the introduction of national ID cards might actually make identity theft easier.
It is possible that / It may be that the only way to protect ourselves against DNA identity theft is to avoid the creation of national DNA databases.
Language Banks at impersonal, opinion

WordNet Dictionary:
by chance
- perhaps she will call tomorrow
- we may possibly run into them at the concert
- it may peradventure be thought that there never was such a time
Syn: possibly, perchance, maybe, mayhap, peradventure

Webster's 1913 Dictionary:
adv.1.By chance; peradventure; perchance; it may be.
And pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

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