How Do You Spell MAY?

Pronunciation: [mˈe͡ɪ] (IPA)

The spelling of the word "may" is relatively simple in English, consisting of just three letters. However, the pronunciation of this word can be a bit trickier. The IPA phonetic transcription for "may" is /meɪ/. The first sound is a long "a" sound, and the second is a diphthong, which means it's made up of two vowel sounds. The "ey" combination creates the /eɪ/ sound. Overall, "may" is a common word that can be pronounced in different ways depending on the context and the emphasis placed on it.

MAY Meaning and Definition

May is a versatile word with multiple definitions depending on its usage. As an auxiliary verb, it is mainly utilized to express possibility or probability, indicating that something could potentially happen or be true. It suggests a moderate level of uncertainty or chance. For instance, "It may rain later today," suggests that there is a chance of rain but it is not certain. Similarly, when used in a permissive context, "You may use my computer," it allows or grants permission for someone to do something. In this sense, "may" incorporates the concept of permission or authorization.

In addition, "may" is also employed to convey a polite request or expression of preference. For example, "May I ask you a question?" demonstrates the speaker's courteous approach in seeking permission to inquire. Moreover, "May I have a glass of water, please?" implies a polite and preferred choice. This usage of "may" reflects politeness and is often employed in formal settings.

Furthermore, "may" can be a noun, representing the fifth month of the calendar year. It is derived from the Latin "Maius" named after Maia, the goddess of growth and fertility in Roman mythology.

Overall, "may" serves various purposes depending on its usage, including expressing possibility, granting permission, making polite requests, and referring to the month of May.

Top Common Misspellings for MAY *

* The statistics data for these misspellings percentages are collected from over 15,411,110 spell check sessions on from Jan 2010 - Jun 2012.

Other Common Misspellings for MAY

Etymology of MAY

The word "may" originated from the Old English word "mæg", which means "to be able to" or "have power to". It is derived from the Proto-Germanic word "magan", meaning "to be strong, to be able". This is further traced back to the Proto-Indo-European root "*magh-", which signifies "to be able, have power". The word "may" has remained relatively unchanged over time, with only minor variations in spelling and pronunciation.

Idioms with the word MAY

  • if I may be/make so bold (as to) The idiom "if I may be/make so bold (as to)" is a polite way of requesting permission or expressing an opinion that may be seen as forward or audacious. It is often used to introduce a statement or question that the speaker considers to be possibly impertinent or presumptuous.
  • sticks and stones may break my bones, (but words can never hurt me) The idiom "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me" is a phrase used to express resilience and the idea that physical harm is easier to bear than emotional or verbal harm. It suggests that someone can withstand physical pain caused by actions like being hit by objects but claims that verbal insults or hurtful words cannot have a lasting impact or cause true harm. This saying can be used to encourage individuals to not let negative comments or criticism affect their self-esteem or well-being.
  • may the best man/person win! The idiom "may the best man/person win" is an expression used to convey good sportsmanship or fair competition. It means that, regardless of personal preferences or alliances, the speaker hopes that the most deserving or skilled individual will come out victorious in a competition or contest.
  • may/might as well The idiom "may/might as well" is used to suggest that if there is no better alternative or option available, then it would be logical or reasonable to do something. It implies that the situation or circumstances make it virtually the same or equivalent to choose a particular action or decision.
  • may well The idiom "may well" means that something is likely to happen or is very possible. It implies a high probability or good chance of occurrence.
  • you may well ask The definition of the idiom "you may well ask" is a response used to acknowledge that the question asked is particularly difficult or deep, implying that it is understandable why someone would ask such a complex question.
  • well may you ask, at you may well ask The idiomatic expression "well may you ask, or you may well ask" is typically used to acknowledge the legitimacy or difficulty of a question being asked. It implies that the question being posed is indeed significant or thought-provoking, indicating that it is appropriate for the questioner to inquire. This phrase is often used to emphasize the relevance or curiosity of someone's query.
  • be that as it may The phrase "be that as it may" is an idiomatic expression used to acknowledge or concede a point despite any objections or conflicting opinions. It means that regardless of the current circumstances or arguments presented, the fact or situation remains the same. It is often used to indicate that although there might be disagreement or uncertainty, the speaker will proceed with their point or argument anyway.
  • come what may The idiom "come what may" means accepting or being prepared for whatever happens, regardless of the circumstances or consequences. It is used to convey determination, resilience, and a willingness to face and accept challenges or difficulties without hesitation.
  • may I ask The idiom "may I ask?" is a polite and formal way of seeking permission or obtaining further information about something. It is often used as a prelude to a question or request.
  • Gather ye rosebuds while ye may. The idiom "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may" is derived from a line in the poem "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time" by Robert Herrick. It is often used to mean that one should enjoy or seize the opportunities and pleasures of life while they are still available, as time is fleeting and circumstances may change. It encourages individuals to make the most of their current situation and not to delay or hesitate in pursuing their desires or ambitions.
  • He who fights and runs away, may live to fight another day The idiom "He who fights and runs away, may live to fight another day" means that it is sometimes wiser to retreat from a difficult or dangerous situation rather than persistently confront it directly. By temporarily retreating or avoiding a conflict, one can preserve oneself and later return stronger or with a better chance of success. It emphasizes the importance of strategic thinking and choosing one's battles wisely.
  • April showers bring May flowers. The idiom "April showers bring May flowers" is a proverbial saying that suggests that the rainy and sometimes gloomy weather conditions experienced in April are necessary for the growth and blooming of flowers in May. It highlights the idea that difficult or unpleasant circumstances can often be essential for positive outcomes or success in the future.
  • How may I help you? The idiom "How may I help you?" is a polite and common phrase used by customer service representatives or anyone offering assistance to inquire about the specific needs or inquiries of someone seeking help or guidance. It demonstrates a willingness to provide support and accommodate the individual's requirements in the best possible manner.
  • May the best man win The idiom "May the best man win" means that in a competition or contest, the person who is most skilled, deserving, or able should be the one to emerge victorious. It expresses a sentiment of fairness and acknowledges that the outcome will be determined by merit rather than luck or favoritism.
  • sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me The idiom "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" is a phrase often used to convey the idea that physical harm or injuries caused by objects like sticks and stones can cause pain, but verbal insults or hurtful words cannot have the same lasting impact. It suggests that one should not be affected or intimidated by the negative words or criticisms of others.
  • Sticks and stones may break my bones The idiom "sticks and stones may break my bones" is a common phrase used to convey the idea that physical harm or insults cannot truly hurt or affect someone emotionally, emphasizing the importance of resilience and inner strength. It suggests that one should not be affected by the negative words or actions of others, as they hold no lasting power over a person's well-being or self-worth.
  • Young men may die, but old men must die
  • May I be excused? The idiomatic phrase "May I be excused?" is typically used to politely ask for permission to leave a location or situation temporarily. It is commonly used in settings such as meals or meetings when someone needs to leave temporarily, specifically to go to the restroom or attend to personal matters.
  • let the chips fall (where they may) The idiom "let the chips fall (where they may)" means to allow events or consequences to unfold naturally without attempting to control or influence the outcome. It implies accepting the uncertain or unfavorable results that may arise, instead of trying to manipulate or interfere with the situation. It emphasizes a willingness to face the outcomes, whether positive or negative, without intervention or interference.
  • try as I may The idiom "try as I may" means making persistent and strenuous efforts to achieve something, even if success seems difficult or unlikely.
  • to whom it may concern The idiom "to whom it may concern" is used to address an unknown or unspecified audience or recipient. It is typically found at the beginning of formal letters or documents when the sender is uncertain about the specific person who will be reading or receiving the message. The phrase signifies that the matter being addressed is important and relevant to anyone who comes across it, without specifying a particular individual.
  • may as well The idiom "may as well" means that there is no harm or loss in doing something because there are no better options available. It implies that the action being taken is not the ideal choice, but it is the most logical or reasonable one under the circumstances.
  • a cat may look at a king The idiom "a cat may look at a king" means that even the most insignificant or lowly individual has the right to observe or gaze upon someone of higher status or authority. It suggests that it is within everyone's rights to observe or take notice, regardless of their standing or position in society.
  • devil may care The idiom "devil may care" refers to a carefree, reckless, and indifferent attitude or behavior towards the consequences of one's actions. It suggests a disregard for potential risks or consequences, often accompanied by a sense of adventure or nonchalant attitude.
  • as the case may be The idiom "as the case may be" means depending on the specific situation or circumstances. It is used to indicate that something may vary or differ based on particular conditions or factors.
  • as luck may have it The idiom "as luck may have it" means that something occurred purely due to chance or coincidence. It implies that the outcome was not planned or expected but rather happened by luck or happenstance.
  • be it as it may The idiom "be it as it may" is used to express acceptance or acknowledgement of a situation, even if one may disagree or have reservations about it. It suggests a willingness to go along with the circumstances, regardless of any personal opinions or preferences.
  • sell in May and go away "Sell in May and go away" is an idiom that suggests investors should sell their stocks or investments in May and reinvest or return to the market later, typically in the fall. This strategy is based on the historical trend of lower stock market returns or increased volatility during the summer months, especially in the United States. It implies that investors are advised to take a break or step back from the market during this period. The idea is that by selling and exiting the market in May, one can avoid potential losses or turbulent periods and then reenter when the market typically performs better.
  • sell in May and stay away The idiom "sell in May and stay away" is a saying in the financial world that advises investors to sell their stocks or assets in the month of May and avoid making any further investments until later in the year, typically in the fall. It implies that the period between May and October is historically known for lower market returns, and it is better to refrain from participating in the market during this time.
  • May the best man/woman win. The idiom "May the best man/woman win" is an expression often used to wish good luck to all participants in a competition, indicating that whoever deserves to win based on their skills, abilities, or merits should achieve victory. It emphasizes fair play and acknowledges that the outcome should be determined by the competitors' qualities rather than favoritism or external factors.
  • May I speak to ? Go to Could I speak to The idiom "May I speak to...?" or "Could I speak to...?" is a polite way of asking to talk to someone on the phone or in person. It is commonly used when requesting to speak with a specific person, and is typically employed in formal and professional contexts.
  • a fool may give a wise man counsel The idiom "a fool may give a wise man counsel" means that even someone who is generally foolish or lacking in intelligence may sometimes offer valuable advice or insight to someone who is wise or knowledgeable. It emphasizes the idea that wisdom and intelligence can come from unexpected sources and that one should be open-minded and willing to consider advice from unlikely individuals.
  • may the Force be with you The phrase "may the Force be with you" is an idiom from the Star Wars franchise, most commonly used as a farewell or blessing. It is a wish for someone to have the guidance, strength, or good luck associated with the metaphysical energy known as "the Force" within the Star Wars universe. It has become a popular cultural reference expressing well wishes, encouragement, or support to someone in their endeavors.

Similar spelling words for MAY

Plural form of MAY is MAYS

Conjugate verb May


I would may
you would may
he/she/it would may
we would may
they would may


I would be maying
you would be maying
he/she/it would be maying
we would be maying
they would be maying


I would have may
you would have may
he/she/it would have may
we would have may
they would have may


I would have been maying
you would have been maying
he/she/it would have been maying
we would have been maying
they would have been maying


I will may
you will may
he/she/it will may
we will may
they will may


I will be maying
you will be maying
he/she/it will be maying
we will be maying
they will be maying


I will have mayed
you will have mayed
he/she/it will have mayed
we will have mayed
they will have mayed


I will have been maying
you will have been maying
he/she/it will have been maying
we will have been maying
they will have been maying


you may
we let´s may


to may


I mayed
you mayed
he/she/it mayed
we mayed
they mayed


I was maying
you were maying
he/she/it was maying
we were maying
they were maying




I had mayed
you had mayed
he/she/it had mayed
we had mayed
they had mayed


I had been maying
you had been maying
he/she/it had been maying
we had been maying
they had been maying


I may
you may
he/she/it may
we may
they may
he/she/it mays


I am maying
you are maying
he/she/it is maying
we are maying
they are maying




I have mayed
you have mayed
he/she/it has mayed
we have mayed
they have mayed


I have been maying
you have been maying
he/she/it has been maying
we have been maying
they have been maying


I might
you might
he/she/it might
we might
they might


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