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might1

[mahyt] /maɪt/
auxiliary verb
1.
simple past tense of may1 .
2.
(used to express possibility):
They might be at the station.
3.
(used to express advisability):
You might at least thank me.
4.
(used in polite requests for permission):
Might I speak to you for a moment?

might2

[mahyt] /maɪt/
noun
1.
physical strength:
He swung with all his might.
2.
superior power or strength; force:
the theory that might makes right.
3.
power or ability to do or accomplish; capacity:
the might of the ballot box.
Idioms
4.
with might and main, with all the vigor, force, or energy at one's command:
They pulled with might and main.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English myghte, Old English miht, meaht; cognate with German macht, Gothic mahts; akin to may1
Related forms
mightless, adjective
Synonyms
1–3. See strength.
Antonyms
1–3. weakness.

may1

[mey] /meɪ/
auxiliary verb, present singular 1st person may, 2nd may or (Archaic) mayest or mayst, 3rd may; present plural may; past might.
1.
(used to express possibility):
It may rain.
2.
(used to express opportunity or permission):
You may enter.
3.
(used to express contingency, especially in clauses indicating condition, concession, purpose, result, etc.):
I may be wrong but I think you would be wise to go. Times may change but human nature stays the same.
4.
(used to express wish or prayer):
May you live to an old age.
5.
Archaic. (used to express ability or power.)
Compare might1 .
Origin
before 900; Middle English mai 1st and 3rd person singular present indicative of mouen, Old English mæg (infinitive magan); cognate with German mögen
Can be confused
may, might, must (see synonym study at must)
Usage note
See can1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for might
  • It is then easy to see how the power company might lower price and expand to six units or more.
  • But the full power of multi-touch technology might be unleashed in screens far larger than those on phones.
  • And at first glance, the answer might seem to be an obvious no.
  • No doubt, she might end up doing less work than a student who wrote a paper from scratch in my composition course.
  • There would be runs on other countries that might even consider leaving.
  • Since then, researchers have been probing how such a sunstone might have worked.
  • If it doesn't use up its allowance, it might then sell what it no longer needs.
  • What's more, unless you grow certain kinds yourself, you might not get a chance to eat them.
  • But if contagion is real, it might also follow that people who are fat should stay away from fat people to control their weight.
  • They feel bad throwing them out but don't know who else might be interested in them.
British Dictionary definitions for might

might1

/maɪt/
verb
1.
making the past tense or subjunctive mood of may1 he might have come last night
2.
(often foll by well) expressing theoretical possibility: he might well come. In this sense might looks to the future and functions as a weak form of may See may1 (sense 2)
Word Origin
OE miht

might2

/maɪt/
noun
1.
power, force, or vigour, esp of a great or supreme kind
2.
physical strength
3.
(with) might and main, See main1 (sense 8)
Word Origin
Old English miht; compare Old High German maht, Dutch macht

may1

/meɪ/
verb (past) might takes an infinitive without to or an implied infinitive used as an auxiliary
1.
to indicate that permission is requested by or granted to someone: he may go to the park tomorrow if he behaves himself
2.
(often foll by well) to indicate possibility: the rope may break, he may well be a spy
3.
to indicate ability or capacity, esp in questions: may I help you?
4.
to express a strong wish: long may she reign
5.
to indicate result or purpose: used only in clauses introduced by that or so that: he writes so that the average reader may understand
6.
another word for might1
7.
to express courtesy in a question: whose child may this little girl be?
8.
be that as it may, in spite of that: a sentence connector conceding the possible truth of a previous statement and introducing an adversative clause: be that as it may, I still think he should come
9.
come what may, whatever happens
10.
(foll by a clause introduced by but) that's as may be, that may be so
Usage note
It was formerly considered correct to use may rather than can when referring to permission as in: you may use the laboratory for your experiments, but this use of may is now almost entirely restricted to polite questions such as: may I open the window? The use of may with if in constructions such as: your analysis may have been more more credible if … is generally regarded as incorrect, might being preferred: your analysis might have been more credible if
Word Origin
Old English mæg, from magan: compare Old High German mag, Old Norse

may2

/meɪ/
noun
1.
an archaic word for maiden
Word Origin
Old English mæg; related to Old High German māg kinsman, Old Norse māgr a relative by marriage

may3

/meɪ/
noun
1.
Also may tree a Brit name for hawthorn
2.
short for may blossom
Word Origin
C16: from the month of May, when it flowers

May1

/meɪ/
noun
1.
the fifth month of the year, consisting of 31 days
Word Origin
from Old French, from Latin Maius, probably from Maia, Roman goddess, identified with the Greek goddess Maia

May2

/meɪ/
noun
1.
Robert McCredie, Baron. born 1936, Australian biologist and ecologist
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for might
v.

Old English mihte, meahte, originally the past tense of may (Old English magen "to be able"), thus "*may-ed." See may (v.). The first record of might-have-been is from 1848.

n.

Old English miht, earlier mæht "might, bodily strength, power, authority, ability," from Proto-Germanic *makhti- (cf. Old Norse mattr, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch, Dutch macht, Old High German maht, German Macht, Gothic mahts), Germanic suffixed form of PIE root *magh- (1) "be able, have power" (see may (v.)).

may

v.

Old English mæg "am able" (infinitive magan, past tense meahte, mihte), from Proto-Germanic root *mag-, infinitive *maganan (Old Frisian mei/muga/machte "have power, may;" Old Saxon mag/mugan/mahte; Middle Dutch mach/moghen/mohte; Dutch mag/mogen/mocht; Old High German mag/magan/mahta; German mag/mögen/mochte; Old Norse ma/mega/matte; Gothic mag/magan/mahte "to be able"), from PIE *magh- (1) "to be able, have power" (cf. Greek mekhos, makhos "means, instrument," Old Church Slavonic mogo "to be able," mosti "power, force," Sanskrit mahan "great"). Also used in Old English as a "auxiliary of prediction."

"to take part in May Day festivities," late 15c., from May. Related: Mayed; maying.

May

fifth month, early 12c., from Old French mai and directly from Latin Majus, Maius mensis "month of May," possibly from Maja, Maia, a Roman earth goddess (wife of Vulcan) whose name is of unknown origin; possibly from PIE *mag-ya "she who is great," fem. suffixed form of root *meg- "great" (cognate with Latin magnus). Replaced Old English þrimilce, month in which cows can be milked three times a day. May marriages have been considered unlucky at least since Ovid's day. May-apple attested from 1733, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with might
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for might

May

fifth month of the Gregorian calendar. It was named after Maia, a Roman fertility goddess.

Learn more about May with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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