May Day

May Day
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.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • May|day — May Day, the first day of May, often celebrated by crowning a girl honored as the queen of May, dancing around the Maypole, and other festivities. In some parts of the world, labor parades and meetings are held on May Day. May|day «MAY DAY», noun …   Useful english dictionary

  • May Day — n [U and C] the first day of May, when ↑left wing political parties in some countries celebrate, and when people traditionally celebrate the arrival of spring …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • May Day — May′ Day n. the first day of May variously celebrated with festivities and observances • Etymology: 1225–75 …   From formal English to slang

  • May Day — ► NOUN ▪ 1 May, celebrated as a springtime festival or as a day honouring workers …   English terms dictionary

  • 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 …   Etymology dictionary

  • May Day — n. May 1: as a traditional spring festival, often celebrated by dancing around a maypole, crowning a May queen, etc.; as a more recent international labor holiday, observed in many countries by parades, demonstrations, etc …   English World dictionary

  • May Day — May ,Day noun count or uncount May 1st, when people traditionally celebrated the beginning of spring. Many countries have a public holiday on or near this date, in honor of working people …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • May Day — This article is about the holidays celebrated on May 1. For more information on the labour related holiday, see International Workers Day. For the distress signal, see Mayday. For other uses, see May Day (disambiguation) …   Wikipedia

  • May Day — noun observed in many countries to celebrate the coming of spring; observed in Russia and related countries in honor of labor (Freq. 1) • Syn: ↑First of May, ↑May 1 • Hypernyms: ↑day • Part Holonyms: ↑May * * * …   Useful english dictionary

  • 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. [1225 75; ME] * * * In Europe, the day …   Universalium

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