May

(redirected from may tree)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.

may

v. a choice to act or not, or a promise of a possibility, as distinguished from "shall" which makes it imperative. 2) in statutes, and sometimes in contracts, the word "may" must be read in context to determine if it means an act is optional or mandatory, for it may be an imperative. The same careful analysis must be made of the word "shall." Non-lawyers tend to see the word "may" and think they have a choice or are excused from complying with some statutory provision or regulation. (See: shall)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

MAY. To be permitted; to be at liberty; to have the power.
     2. Whenever a statute directs the doing of a thing for the sake of justice or the public good, the word may is the same as shall. For example, the 23 H. VI. says, the sheriff may take bail, that is construed he shall, for he is compellable to do so. Carth. 293 Salk. 609; Skin. 370.
     3. The words shall and may in general acts of the legislature or in private constitutions, are to be construed imperatively; 3. Atk. 166; but the construction of those words in a deed depends on circumstances. 3 Atk. 282. See 1 Vern. 152, case. 142 9 Porter, R. 390.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Add a hint of romance to the summer with sprays of these tantalising wispy white stems Driving around Britain recently, there was plenty of flora to admire in the countryside - the hedgerows were heavy with May tree blossoms and I caught tantalising glimpses of woodlands carpeted with bluebells.
Driving around Britain this week, there was plenty of flora to admire in the countryside - the hedgerows were heavy with May tree blossoms and I caught tantalising glimpses of woodlands carpeted with bluebells.
Relations between the Low German words for 'May' and 'May tree'
The lively composition centres around the May tree, which was decorated with ribbons and flowers to celebrate the return of good weather.
Yn ei dyddiadur ym 1932, disgrifiodd swyn y lle: 'a week end of no talking, sinking at once into deep safe book reading; & then sleep: clear transparent; with the may tree like a wave outside; & all the garden green tunnels, mounds of green: & then to wake into the hot still day, & never a person to be seen, never an interruption: the place to ourselves: the long hours.' Braf meddwl iddi gael y fath ddedwyddwch yma.