|v.||1.||An auxiliary verb qualifying the meaning of another verb,|
[imp. Might (mīt)]
For what he [the king] may do is of two kinds; what he may do as just, and what he may do as possible.
|2.||Liberty; permission; allowance.|
|3.||Contingency or liability; possibility or probability.|
|4.||Modesty, courtesy, or concession, or a desire to soften a question or remark.|
|5.||Desire or wish, as in prayer, imprecation, benediction, and the like.|
|1.||The fifth month of the year, containing thirty-one days.|
|2.||The early part or springtime of life.|
|3.||(Bot.) The flowers of the hawthorn; - so called from their time of blossoming; also, the hawthorn.|
|4.||The merrymaking of May Day.|
|Noun||1.||May - the month following April and preceding June|
|2.||may - thorny Eurasian shrub of small tree having dense clusters of white to scarlet flowers followed by deep red berries; established as an escape in eastern North America|
MAY. To be permitted; to be at liberty; to have the power.
2. Whenever a statute directs the doing of a thing for the sake of justice or the public good, the word may is the same as shall. For example, the 23 H. VI. says, the sheriff may take bail, that is construed he shall, for he is compellable to do so. Carth. 293 Salk. 609; Skin. 370.
3. The words shall and may in general acts of the legislature or in private constitutions, are to be construed imperatively; 3. Atk. 166; but the construction of those words in a deed depends on circumstances. 3 Atk. 282. See 1 Vern. 152, case. 142 9 Porter, R. 390.