may modal verb, noun definition, meaning - what is may modal verb, noun in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “may”

See all translations

may

modal verb uk   us   /meɪ/

may modal verb (POSSIBILITY)

A2 used to express possibility: There may be other problems that we don't know about. I may see you tomorrow before I leave. The cause of the accident may never be discovered. The explosion may have been caused by a faulty electrical connection. We'd better not interfere - she may not like it. There may be some evidence to suggest she's guilty, but it's hardly conclusive.
More examples

may modal verb (PERMISSION)

B1 formal used to ask or give permission: A reader may borrow up to six books at any one time. "May I help myself to some more food?" "Yes, of course." Hi, my name's Tiffany. How may I help you?
More examples

may modal verb (WISH)

formal used to introduce a wish or a hope: May you have a long and fruitful marriage.

may

noun [U] uk   us   /meɪ/ (also may blossom)
the flowers of the hawthorn tree
(Definition of may modal verb, noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of may?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “may” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

paradox

a situation or statement that seems impossible or is difficult to understand because it contains two opposite facts or characteristics

Word of the Day

What’s All The Commotion About? (Words to describe sounds)

by Kate Woodford,
May 20, 2015
​​​ In this post we look at a range of words and phrases that we use to describe noise and the absence of noise. Starting with complete quiet, we sometimes use the noun hush to describe silence: A hush fell over the room as the bride walked in./There was a deathly hush (=complete

Read More 

plyscraper noun

May 18, 2015
a skyscraper made mainly from wood The development of engineered timber could herald a new era of eco-friendly ‘plyscrapers’. Christchurch welcomed its first multistorey timber structure this year, there are plans for Vancouver, and the talk is China could follow

Read More