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.
2. The early part or springtime of life.
His May of youth, and bloom of lustihood.Shak.
(Bot.) The flowers of the hawthorn; -- so called from their time of blossoming; also, the hawthorn.
The palm and may make country houses gay.Nash.
Plumes that mocked the may.Tennyson.
4. The merrymaking of May Day.
(Bot.), a shrubby species of Spira (Spira hypericifolia) with many clusters of small white flowers along the slender branches. --
(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. --
(Zol.), 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. --
(Bot.), a plant that flowers in May; also, its blossom. See Mayflower, in the vocabulary. --
(Zol.), 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. --
(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.
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Sun 09th December 2018