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Middle English peraventure, from Old French par aventure. Spelling modified as though from Latin.


peradventure (not comparable)

  1. (archaic) perchance or maybe; perhaps; supposing
    • 1554, John Knox, A Godly Letter of Warning or Admonition to the Faithfull in London, Newcastle, and Berwick:
      For be God the Propheit was commandit to stand in the entress of the Lordis house, and to speik to all the cieties of Juda that come to wirschip in the house of the Lord; and was commandit to keip no word aback, gif peradventure, sayeth the Lord, thay will herkin and turne everie man frome his wickit way.
    • Shakespeare
      If peradventure he speak against me.
    • Bible, Genesis xviii. 24
      Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city.


peradventure (plural peradventures)

  1. chance, doubt or uncertainty
    • 1800, William R. Thayer, Woman Suffrage, Pro and Con (in The Atlantic Monthly, volume 65, page 310)
      By his death Bruno did not prove that his convictions are true, but he proved beyond peradventure that he was a true man; and by such from the beginning has human nature been raised towards that ideal nature which we call divine.
    • It may peradventure be thought there was never such a time nor condition of war as this ... Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, chapter 13.