May May, n. [F. Mai, L. Maius; so named in honor of the goddess Maia (Gr. Mai^a), daughter of Atlas and mother of Mercury by Jupiter.] 1. The fifth month of the year, containing thirty-one days. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

2. The early part or springtime of life. [1913 Webster]

His May of youth, and bloom of lustihood. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. (Bot.) The flowers of the hawthorn; -- so called from their time of blossoming; also, the hawthorn. [1913 Webster]

The palm and may make country houses gay. --Nash. [1913 Webster]

Plumes that mocked the may. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]

4. The merrymaking of May Day. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]

{Italian may} (Bot.), a shrubby species of {Spir[ae]a} ({Spir[ae]a 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. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


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