Definition of possibly in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpäsəblē/


1 [sentence adverb] Perhaps (used to indicate doubt or hesitancy): he found himself alone, possibly the only surviving officer
More example sentences
  • In addition to posing a strain on relationships, it can also indicate a possibly dangerous and life-threatening disease.
  • Perhaps it's anxiety, perhaps asthma, perhaps heart and possibly thyroid.
  • If it is, that would indicate that possibly the boy drowned in this pool.
perhaps, maybe, it is possible, for all one knows, very likely
1.1 [with modal] Used in polite requests: could you possibly pour me another cup of coffee?
More example sentences
  • She said that she was sorry for being late, and I tried to be as polite as I possibly could and told her that it was ok.
  • She tried to be as polite as she possibly could about matters without physically pushing away.
  • She said it so politely that there was no way I could possibly argue.
please, kindly, be so good as to
2 [usually with modal] In accordance with what is likely or achievable, in particular.
Example sentences
  • Men are possibly more likely to be unwilling to report it, and are much less likely to be believed if they do.
  • Well, if I were able to get it published, I'd likely be arrested, possibly beaten, and probably imprisoned.
  • I rest easy knowing that we likely got everything we possibly could have gotten.
2.1Used to emphasize that something is difficult, surprising, or bewildering: what can you possibly mean?
More example sentences
  • So, it cannot possibly come as a surprise when I got a message from an airline offering up a one day sale.
  • So why am I telling you all this, I hear you ask, ruining surprise as it quite possibly may?
  • Could they possibly have been taken by such glaring, awful surprise?
conceivably, under any circumstances, by any means
2.2Used to emphasize that someone has or will put all their effort into something: be as noisy as you possibly can
More example sentences
  • All we can do is remember most everyone reading this is rich by comparison and we should contribute to the relief efforts if we possibly can.
  • It simply compromises on quality as piracy is all about quantity and reaping as much profits as possibly can from the tireless efforts of artists.
  • We recycle as much as we possibly can, and make every effort to save valuable energy, such as the use of low energy light bulbs and hot water tank lagging.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pos·si·bly

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