I am learning using a TED video, and at 1:07 she says we discuss this idea of a maybe technology.

maybe in the sentence looks like adjective but maybe has no adjective meaning. (reference: oxford)

What is a role of maybe and what does it mean?

3 Answers 3


Oxford English Dictionary: maybe, adv., n., and adj.

C. adj. Which is or are possibly to come; potential, possible.

1961 S. Chaplin Day of Sardine viii. 174 It took a second or two for the penny to drop. I gave myself a shake and made over to the maybe Old Man.

I think you either use a more advanced dictionary or ignore the infrequent usage.


The use of 'maybe' in that context is fairly unusual, to the point that she immediately explains what she means. I would not take anything from that usage other than that there isn't a good term to fit what she is trying to express.


Even absent the dictionary definition in @Gqqnbig 's nice answer,
"maybe technology" in a TED talk video clearly suggests "a technology that's not yet here but may be some day".

In such talks, as in song lyrics and movie dialog, you may often find expressive but grammatically questionable constructions like this.

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