Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. Perhaps; possibly.
  • n. Informal An uncertainty: There are so many maybes involved in playing the stock market.
  • n. Informal An uncertain reply: It's better to receive a fast and honest no than a drawn-out maybe.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. Modifies a verb, indicating a lack of certainty.
  • adv. perhaps that is true (expressing no commitment to a decision or a neutral viewpoint to a statement)
  • adj. Possible; uncertain.
  • n. Something that is possibly true.
  • n. An answer that shows neither agreement nor disagreement.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Possible; probable, but not sure.
  • adv. Perhaps; possibly; peradventure.
  • n. Possibility; uncertainty.
  • v. are used as equivalent to possibly, perhaps, maybe, by chance, peradventure. See 1st Maybe.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Perhaps; possibly; probably.
  • Possible; uncertain.
  • n. Something that may be or happen; a possibility or probability.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adv. by chance

Etymologies

From an ellipsis of it may be, equivalent to may +‎ be. Compare mayhap. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • We get maybe, *maybe*, one good week a month as women.

    Don't Sweat It

  • Now I'll let it sit and ferment for a week or so until I don't know each page by heart and can maybe, _maybe_, see the typos in front of my face.

    Robbing Peter to pay Paul -- Government division

  • Sony's Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo HX offers an industry leading 30MB per second transfer rate, which means Handycam users can upload video clips in a fraction of actual playback time. maybe, * maybe* reconsidering my planned Pentax K7-for-multi-lens-video purchase ....

    Original Signal - Transmitting Gadgets

  •   The crowd was going wild here in Venice, it was a time before the war, when something was twirling down from up high, maybe a screw from a gas socket, a technician adjusting a light over ringside, sheer clumsiness but making pressure waves as only in the air a disturbance could in those days, maybe a harbinger of something dark and brooding over the borders of Europe,  maybe the Belgian border, a border where history tells us that Eddy Merckx's grandmother was at that hour going into her labour.

    zola V mann

  • David, Just wanted to say Thanks for the entertainment you have provided for the last 6 months or so...its been great for me as it allowed me the opportunity to just kind of escape for a little while when I would read your blogs and just try envision it all..and perhaps maybe in several years when my girls are off to college and I can think about some great adventure for myself..maybe not as wild as yours but hopefully just as enlightening.

    Animal Planet: Walking the "Kitties"

  • Both on the ease with which the female sailor has been made a mouthpiece, and how the goal is for the Iranians to throw enough confusing shit up in the air through her mouth and letters that both the Left and enemy-lovers like Freder are quick to start "well, maybe there IS something to the Turney confessions..maybe we are in a situation of moral equivalency"

    "And when the captured British sailor admits she 'trespassed' into Iranian waters, there is fear in her eyes."

  • Do you even know, can you know, what that missed opportunity means to her kids, or her family, or maybe her friends..maybe she’s very very obese, and you could have bothered a little bit more, and made a massive impact?

    Are we meat eaters or vegetarians? Part I | The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D.

  • When I couldn't see why, he told me about investigations he had his men, like I'm going to be, make, and sometimes they get a 'scoop' on the men appointed to do the job, and he told me he had a 'scoop' on this, and if I saw trouble coming toward my boss, I was to tell him and maybe -- he didn't say sure, but _maybe_ he'd do something. "

    Michael O'Halloran

  • Nobody will know it till then, and maybe -- _maybe_ I shall be dead by that time, or the world will burn up! "

    Lill's Travels in Santa Claus Land And Other Stories

  • Right now I'd only rather have Fitzgerald or A. Johnson than him (maybe, * maybe*

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