vb 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 →
7 to express courtesy in a question
whose child may this little girl be?
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
come what may whatever happens
that's as may be foll by a clause introduced by: but that may be so
(Old English mæg, from magan: compare Old High German mag, Old Norse ma)
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 credible if ... is generally regarded as incorrect, might being preferred: your analysis might have been more credible if ...
English Collins Dictionary - English Definition & Thesaurus
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