- 2nd person singular present indicative of may1.
- (used to express possibility): It may rain.
- (used to express opportunity or permission): You may enter.
- (used to express contingency, especially in clauses indicating condition, concession, purpose, result, etc.): I may be wrong but I think you would be wise to go. Times may change but human nature stays the same.
- (used to express wish or prayer): May you live to an old age.
- Archaic. (used to express ability or power.)
Origin of may1
Examples from the Web for mayest
Mayest thou have a fleet and smite them in the Tiber itself!Ulric the Jarl
William O. Stoddard
May not thy mainstays be snapped; Mayest thou not run aground.Egyptian Tales, First Series, IVth To XIIth Dynasty
W. M. Flinders Petrie
Mayest thou my friend and benefactor overcome in every hardship.
And where mayest thou be going so early on this cold winter's day?The Scottish Fairy Book
Elizabeth W. Grierson
And mayest thou be ever fed with wood as the prescription orders.Sacred Books of the East</p>
- a variant of mayst
- the fifth month of the year, consisting of 31 days
- Robert McCredie, Baron. born 1936, Australian biologist and ecologist
- to indicate that permission is requested by or granted to someonehe may go to the park tomorrow if he behaves himself
- (often foll by well) to indicate possibilitythe rope may break; he may well be a spy
- to indicate ability or capacity, esp in questionsmay I help you?
- to express a strong wishlong may she reign
- to indicate result or purpose: used only in clauses introduced by that or so thathe writes so that the average reader may understand
- another word for might 1
- to express courtesy in a questionwhose child may this little girl be?
- be that as it may in spite of that: a sentence connector conceding the possible truth of a previous statement and introducing an adversative clausebe that as it may, I still think he should come
- come what may whatever happens
- that's as may be (foll by a clause introduced by but) that may be so
- an archaic word for maiden
Word Origin and History for mayest
Old English mæg "am able" (infinitive magan, past tense meahte, mihte), from Proto-Germanic root *mag-, infinitive *maganan (Old Frisian mei/muga/machte "have power, may;" Old Saxon mag/mugan/mahte; Middle Dutch mach/moghen/mohte; Dutch mag/mogen/mocht; Old High German mag/magan/mahta; German mag/mögen/mochte; Old Norse ma/mega/matte; Gothic mag/magan/mahte "to be able"), from PIE *magh- (1) "to be able, have power" (cf. Greek mekhos, makhos "means, instrument," Old Church Slavonic mogo "to be able," mosti "power, force," Sanskrit mahan "great"). Also used in Old English as a "auxiliary of prediction."
fifth month, early 12c., from Old French mai and directly from Latin Majus, Maius mensis "month of May," possibly from Maja, Maia, a Roman earth goddess (wife of Vulcan) whose name is of unknown origin; possibly from PIE *mag-ya "she who is great," fem. suffixed form of root *meg- "great" (cognate with Latin magnus). Replaced Old English þrimilce, month in which cows can be milked three times a day. May marriages have been considered unlucky at least since Ovid's day. May-apple attested from 1733, American English.
"to take part in May Day festivities," late 15c., from May. Related: Mayed; maying.