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may might


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Also see:might

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
may1 /meɪ/USA pronunciation auxiliary (modal) v. [+ root form of a verb],pres. may;
past might;
imperative, infinitive, and participles lacking. 
    • (used to express the possibility or the chances of the occurrence of the main verb):It may rain. You may have been right. He might have been here before us. Her weight may have gone down.
    • (used to express the willingness of the subject to receive or grant permission or have the opportunity):You may see the doctor now. May we have a word with you? If you fail three times, you may appeal to the academic department that offered the course.
  1. (used with another phrase or clause to express that something else follows another idea, esp. in clauses that indicate the condition, purpose, or result of something):Let's agree on this so that (as a result) we may go home early. Difficult as it may seem, I know it can be done.
  2. (used to express a wish or prayer appearing before its subject in an unusual word order):Long may you live! May the couple always be happy and healthy. May we yet see the light of day. Long may the banner wave.
idiom
  1. may as well. (used to express an opinion about a reason for doing or not doing the action of the main verb):I can't stay awake, so I may as well go to bed.

See can. See can1.
May0 /meɪ/USA pronunciationn. [proper noun]
the fifth month of the year, containing 31 days.


Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

may /meɪ/ vb ( past might)
takes an infinitive without to or an implied infinitive used as an auxiliary:
  1. to indicate that permission is requested by or granted to someone: he may go to the park tomorrow if he behaves himself
  2. (often followed by well) to indicate possibility: the rope may break, he may well be a spy
  3. to indicate ability or capacity, esp in questions: may I help you?
  4. to express a strong wish: long may she reign
  5. to indicate result or purpose: used only in clauses introduced by that or so that: he writes so that the average reader may understand
  6. another word for might1
  7. to express courtesy in a question: whose child may this little girl be?
  8. be that as it mayin spite of that: a sentence connector conceding the possible truth of a previous statement and introducing an adversative clause: be that as it may, I still think he should come
  9. come what maywhatever happens
  10. that's as may be ⇒ (followed by a clause introduced by but) that may be so
Etymology: Old English mæg, from magan: compare Old High German mag, Old Norse
may /meɪ/ n
  1. Also: may tree
    a Brit name for hawthorn
Etymology: 16th Century: from the month of May, when it flowers



May /meɪ/ n
  1. the fifth month of the year, consisting of 31 days
Etymology: from Old French, from Latin Maius, probably from Maia, Roman goddess, identified with the Greek goddess Maia
May /meɪ/ n
  1. Robert McCredie. Baron. born 1936, Australian biologist and ecologist



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