May Day



the first day of May, long celebrated with various festivities, as the crowning of the May queen, dancing around the Maypole, and, in recent years, often marked by labor parades and political demonstrations.

Origin of May Day

Middle English word dating back to 1225–75 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for may day

Historical Examples of may day

  • They skipped not in answer to the adagio movement in the May-day Symphony.

    Cruel Barbara Allen

    David Christie Murray

  • It is no very rare thing for the Russian May-day to wear an aspect of January.

    The Genius

    Margaret Horton Potter

  • The children are invited to the parks for May-day and romping-day festivals.

    A Woman for Mayor

    Helen M. Winslow

  • "It's more wonderful than the May-day party," whispered Winifred.

  • There is no lovelier day of all the years of days for Florence than May-day.

    The God of Love

    Justin Huntly McCarthy

British Dictionary definitions for may day

May Day


  1. the first day of May, traditionally a celebration of the coming of spring: in some countries now observed as a holiday in honour of workers
  2. (as modifier)May-Day celebrations
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for may day

May Day

"first of May," mid-15c. Accounts of merrymaking on this date are attested from mid-13c. Synonymous with "communist procession" from at least 1906. The May Queen seems to be a Victorian re-invented tradition.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper