Definitions

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

  • adv. Perhaps; possibly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. perhaps; by chance

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. By chance; perhaps; peradventure.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • By chance; perhaps; peradventure.
  • By chance; accidentally.

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

  • adv. by chance
  • adv. through chance,

Etymologies

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

Middle English, from Anglo-Norman par chance : par, by (from Latin per; see per) + chance, chance (from Old French; see chance).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Calque of Old French par cheance ("by luck, by casualty")

Examples

  • Obsolete has been keeping an eye on Alisher Usmanov Parental Guidance, unless Schillings have perchance added a short word beginning in c to their name?

    Uzbecki Oligarchiosi: Creosotemanov Still Bullocking

  • Within a very little while, thou wilt be either ashes, or a sceletum; and a name perchance; and perchance, not so much as a name.

    Meditations

  • Shrewsbury, and if I told my name perchance it might travel back, and I was in no mind to have my mischances retailed in the town.

    Humphrey Bold A Story of the Times of Benbow

  • -- I am a man of the people, a man who acts, -- I _was_, I mean, -- not a man who thinks; and all your subtleties of word perchance entrap me.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 11, No. 67, May, 1863

  • If perchance a kasid or a chance traveler entered Santipur, the trick he had practised there would be immediately discovered; but if the messenger only touched at the places on the direct route on the other bank, he might hope that some time would elapse before the authorities there suspected that he had left the river.

    In Clive's Command A Story of the Fight for India

  • May-time, that I shall never hold that dainty oval face in my hands again, shall look into those beautiful eyes no more, that all the intimacy of her person is now but a memory never to be renewed by actual presence -- in these moments of passionate memory one experiences real grief, a pang that never has found expression perchance except in

    Memoirs of My Dead Life

  • -- I am a man of the people, a man who acts, -- I was, I mean, -- not a man who thinks; and all your subtleties of word perchance entrap me.

    Dark Ways

  • On this morning of the Great Snow, perchance, which is still raging and chilling men's blood, I bear the muffled tone of their engine bell from out the fog bank of their chilled breath, which announces that the cars are coming, without long delay, notwithstanding the veto of a New England northeast snow-storm, and

    Walden

  • Well, honestly the idea perchance could be used with virtually any a combination of online websites whether it be Fromhomeperfectwealth and Gold-members-online or 2buyxango. com and Myrichmindset.

    xml's Blinklist.com

  • [Proust's passage] contrasts two ways of evoking the natural experience of summer and unambiguously states its preference for one of these ways over the other: the "necessary link" that unites the buzzing of the flies to the summer makes it a much more effective symbol than the tune heard "perchance" during the summer.

    Professing Literature: John Guillory's Misreading of Paul de Man

Comments

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  • "Those which lately even I tasted only to repent of it,--for I am semi-civilized,--which the farmer willingly left on the tree, I am now glad to find have the property of hanging on like the leaves of the young oaks. It is a way to keep cider sweet without boiling. Let the frost come to freeze them first, solid as stones, and then the rain or a warm winter day to thaw them, and they will seem to have borrowed a flavor from heaven through the medium of the air in which they hang. Or perchance you find, when you get home, that those which rattled in your pocket have thawed, and the ice is turned to cider." - 'Wild Apples', Henry David Thoreau.

    December 14, 2007

  • Or in my case, "To lie down, perchance to sleep." (See insomnia.)

    October 6, 2007

  • "To sleep, perchance to dream."

    October 6, 2007

  • or, at least I shall dream about it.

    March 1, 2007