Children's, Intermediate and Advanced Online English Dictionary & Thesaurus

Comprehensive
Dictionary Suite
Help
Help
Help
 
   
Display options
 
Lookup History
may

may

 
pronunciation:
meI
part of speech: auxiliary verb
inflections: may, might
definition 1: to be allowed to. (Cf. can1.)
You may take a break now, but please be back in fifteen minutes.May I sit here?Students may not keep pets in the dormitories.
definition 2: used to express the possibility of something happening or being true in the present or in the future.
He may arrive tonight if he can catch the last train.Her injuries are serious, but she may still recover.I didn't get a scholarship, so I may not be able to go to that private school after all.
definition 3: used to indicate the possibility of something happening or being true in the past (followed by "have" plus a past participle).
A witness may have seen a man running away from the scene of the crime.My parents may have been stricter with my older siblings than with me.
definition 4: used to express a heartfelt wish, desire, or proclamation.
May your dreams come true!May they live a long and happy life together!
definition 5: to be able to (used in clauses and preceded by "so that" or "that").
I will tell them the truth so that they may understand my decision.
definition 6: used to admit that something is true.
He may be a little slow, but his work is always of very high quality.New York City may be crowded and expensive, but I find it an exciting place to live in.