Loading...

American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search

May


MAY, noun [Latin Maius.]

1. The fifth month of the year, beginning with January, but the third, beginning with March, as was the ancient practice of the Romans.

2. A young woman.

3. The early part of life.

His may of youth and bloom of lustihood.

MAY, verb intransitive To gather flowers in May-morning.

MAY, verb aux; preterit tense might.

1. To be possible. We say, a thing may be, or may not be; an event may happen; a thing may be done, if means are not wanting.

2. To have physical power; to be able.

Make the most of life you may

3. To have moral power; to have liberty, leave, license or permission; to be permitted; to be allowed. A man may do what the laws permit. He may do what is not against decency, propriety or good manners. We may not violate the laws, or the rules of good breeding. I told the servant he might be absent.

Thou mayest be no longer steward. Luke 16:4.

4. It is used in prayer and petitions to express desire. O may we never experience the evils we dread. So also in expressions of good will. may you live happily, and be a blessing to your country. It was formerly used for can, and its radical sense is the same.

MAY be, it may be, are expressions equivalent to perhaps, by chance, peradventure, that is, it is possible to be.