1. The fifth month of the year in the Gregorian calendar. See Table at calendar.
2. The springtime of life; youth.
3. The celebration of May Day.
[Middle English, from Old French mai, May, and Latin Māius (mēnsis), (the month) of Maia (Old French, from Latin), from Māia, an Italic goddess; see meg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.