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May - Definition

The definition of: May is below.
There are 1 syllables in the word May.
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Definition of: May

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Standard Definition

[n] thorny Eurasian shrub of small tree having dense clusters of white to scarlet flowers followed by deep red berries; established as an escape in eastern North America
[n] the month following April and preceding June
[v] expresses permission; "You may leave now"; "Can I have another piece of cake?"
[v] get to or be allowed to do something; "May I go to the movies tonight?"; "Can I have some ice cream?"; "We got to play video games all day long"


can - (1 syllables), Crataegus laevigata - (7 syllables), Crataegus oxycantha - (7 syllables), English hawthorn - (4 syllables), get - (1 syllables), might - (1 syllables), whitethorn - (2 syllables)


may not, must not

Misc. Definitions

\May\, v. [imp. {Might}] [AS. pres. m[ae]g I am able, pret. meahte, mihte; akin to D. mogen, G. m["o]gen, OHG. mugan, magan, Icel. mega, Goth. magan, Russ. moche. ?. Cf. {Dismay}, {Main} strength, {Might}. The old imp. mought is obsolete, except as a provincial word.] An auxiliary verb qualifyng the meaning of another verb, by expressing: (a) Ability, competency, or possibility; -- now oftener expressed by can. How may a man, said he, with idle speech, Be won to spoil the castle of his health ! --Spenser. For what he [the king] may do is of two kinds; what he may do as just, and what he may do as possible. --Bacon. For of all sad words of tongue or pen The saddest are these: ``It might have been.'' --Whittier. (b) Liberty; permission; allowance. Thou mayst be no longer steward. --Luke xvi.

2. (c) Contingency or liability; possibility or probability. Though what he learns he speaks, and may advance Some general maxims, or be right by chance. --Pope. (d) Modesty, courtesy, or concession, or a desire to soften a question or remark. How old may Phillis be, you ask. --Prior. (e) Desire or wish, as in prayer, imprecation, benediction, and the like. ``May you live happily.'' --Dryden. {May be}, & {It may be}, are used as equivalent to possibly, perhaps, by chance, peradventure. See 1st {Maybe}.
\May\, n. [Cf. Icel. m[ae]r, Goth. mawi; akin to E. maiden. ?.] A maiden. [Obs.] --Chaucer.
\May\, n. [F. Mai, L. Maius; so named in honor of the goddess Maia (Gr. ?), daughter of Atlas and mother of Mercury by Jupiter.]
1. The fifth month of the year, containing thirty-one days. --Chaucer.
2. The early part or springtime of life. His May of youth, and bloom of lustihood. --Shak.
3. (Bot.) The flowers of the hawthorn; -- so called from their time of blossoming; also, the hawthorn. The palm and may make country houses gay. --Nash. Plumes that micked the may. --Tennyson.
4. The merrymaking of May Day. --Tennyson. {Italian may} (Bot.), a shrubby species of {Spir[ae]a} ({S. hypericifolia}) with many clusters of small white flowers along the slender branches. {May apple} (Bot.), the fruit of an American plant ({Podophyllum peltatum}). Also, the plant itself (popularly called {mandrake}), which has two lobed leaves, and bears a single egg-shaped fruit at the forking. The root and leaves, used in medicine, are powerfully drastic. {May beetle}, {May bug} (Zo["o]l.), any one of numerous species of large lamellicorn beetles that appear in the winged state in May. They belong to {Melolontha}, and allied genera. Called also {June beetle}. {May Day}, the first day of May; -- celebrated in the rustic parts of England by the crowning of a May queen with a garland, and by dancing about a May pole. {May dew}, the morning dew of the first day of May, to which magical properties were attributed. {May flower} (Bot.), a plant that flowers in May; also, its blossom. See {Mayflower}, in the vocabulary. {May fly} (Zo["o]l.), any species of {Ephemera}, and allied genera; -- so called because the mature flies of many species appear in May. See {Ephemeral fly}, under {Ephemeral}. {May game}, any May-day sport. {May lady}, the queen or lady of May, in old May games. {May lily} (Bot.), the lily of the valley ({Convallaria majalis}). {May pole}. See {Maypole} in the Vocabulary. {May queen}, a girl or young woman crowned queen in the sports of May Day. {May thorn}, the hawthorn.