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English definition of “may”

may

modal verb (PERMISSION)    /meɪ/ formal
B1 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? → Compare might modal verbAllowing and permittingPolite expressions might modal verbGrammar:Can, could or may: typical errorsSee moreGrammar:MaySee moreGrammar:May: formsSee moreGrammar:May: usesSee more
(Definition of may modal verb (PERMISSION) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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