Maximum thermometer, a thermometer that registers the highest degree of temperature attained in a given time, or since its last adjustment.

(Max"i*mum), a. Greatest in quantity or highest in degree attainable or attained; as, a maximum consumption of fuel; maximum pressure; maximum heat.

(May) v. [imp. Might (mit)] [AS. pres. mæg I am able, pret. meahte, mihte; akin to D. mogen, G. mögen, OHG. mugan, magan, Icel. mega, Goth. magan, Russ. moche. &radic103. Cf. Dismay, Main strength, Might. The old imp. mought is obsolete, except as a provincial word.] An auxiliary verb qualifying the meaning of another verb, by expressing: (a) Ability, competency, or possibility; — now oftener expressed by can.

How may a man, said he, with idle speech,
Be won to spoil the castle of his health !

For what he [the king] may do is of two kinds; what he may do as just, and what he may do as possible.

For of all sad words of tongue or pen
The saddest are these: "It might have been."

(b) Liberty; permission; allowance.

Thou mayst be no longer steward.
Luke xvi. 2.

(c) Contingency or liability; possibility or probability.

Though what he learns he speaks, and may advance
Some general maxims, or be right by chance.

(d) Modesty, courtesy, or concession, or a desire to soften a question or remark.

How old may Phillis be, you ask.

(e) Desire or wish, as in prayer, imprecation, benediction, and the like. "May you live happily." Dryden.

May be, &and It may be, are used as equivalent to possibly, perhaps, by chance, peradventure. See 1st Maybe.

(May), n. [Cf. Icel. mær, Goth. mawi; akin to E. maiden. &radic103.] A maiden. [Obs.] Chaucer.

(May), n. [F. Mai, L. Maius; so named in honor of the goddess Maia daughter of Atlas and mother of Mercury by Jupiter.]

1. The fifth month of the year, containing thirty-one days. Chaucer.

2. The early part or springtime of life.

His May of youth, and bloom of lustihood.

(Max"i*mum) n.; pl. Maxima [L., neut. from maximus the greatest. See Maxim.] The greatest quantity or value attainable in a given case; or, the greatest value attained by a quantity which first increases and then begins to decrease; the highest point or degree; — opposed to minimum.

Good legislation is the art of conducting a nation to the maximum of happiness, and the minimum of misery.
P. Colquhoun.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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