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[per-chans, -chahns] /pərˈtʃæns, -ˈtʃɑns/
Literary. perhaps; maybe; possibly.
Archaic. by chance.
1300-50; Middle English, variant of par chance by chance < Anglo-French. See per, chance Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for perchance
  • He fears silence and seems to be angling for music to sleep by, perchance a lullaby.
  • If perchance their interest should lend to lag, candidates for political office will take care that it is revived.
  • The nearer peaks are perchance clad in sapphire blue, others far off in creamy white.
  • So even if you perchance would make a complete, absolutely true proposition, you couldn't know.
  • perchance you are in the midst of your era of causal profundity.
  • perchance it has happened, mon ami, you know of my unworthy lays.
  • For seeing they bestow but six hours in work, perchance you may think that the lack of some necessary things hereof may ensue.
  • She has a new and unattempted problem to solve, perchance that of the happiest nature that ever bloomed.
  • The same applies to the new comets and new stars that may perchance gleam down on us during the coming year.
  • perchance some of them may be high in public estimation.
British Dictionary definitions for perchance


adverb (archaic or poetic)
perhaps; possibly
by chance; accidentally
Word Origin
C14: from Anglo-French par chance; see per, chance
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for perchance

mid-14c., parchaunce, from Old French par cheance, literally "by chance." With Latin per substituted c.1400 for French cognate par.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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