Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Mawk (mak) noun [ Middle English mauk , maðek , Icelandic maðkr ; akin to Danish maddik , and English mad an earthworm. See Mad , noun ]


1. A maggot. [ Scot.]

2. A slattern; a mawks. [ Prov. Eng.]

Mawkin noun See Malkin , and Maukin .

Mawkingly adverb Slatternly. [ Obsolete]

Mawkish adjective [ Orig., maggoty. See Mawk .]
1. Apt to cause satiety or loathing; nauseous; disgusting.

So sweetly mawkish' , and so smoothly dull.
Pope.

2. Easily disgusted; squeamish; sentimentally fastidious. J. H. Newman.

Mawkishly adverb In a mawkish way.

Mawkishness noun The quality or state of being mawkish. J. H. Newman.

Mawks noun A slattern; a mawk. [ Prov. Eng.]

Mawky adjective Maggoty. [ Prov. Eng.]

Mawmet noun [ Contr. from Mahomet .] A puppet; a doll; originally, an idol, because in the Middle Ages it was generally believed that the Mohammedans worshiped images representing Mohammed. [ Obsolete] Wyclif. Beau. & Fl.

Mawmetry noun The religion of Mohammed; also, idolatry. See Mawmet . [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Mawmish adjective [ Prov. English mau m soft, mellow, rotten; confer OD. molm rotten wood, German mulm .] Nauseous. [ Obsolete] L' Estrange.

Mawseed noun [ Confer German magsamen .] (Botany) The seed of the opium poppy.

Mawworm noun [ Maw the belly + worm .] (Zoology) (a) Any intestinal worm found in the stomach, esp. the common round worm ( Ascaris lumbricoides ), and allied species. (b) One of the larvæ of botflies of horses; a bot.

Maxilla noun ; plural Maxillæ . [ Latin , dim. of mala jaw, jawbone.]
1. (Anat.) (a) The bone of either the upper or the under jaw. (b) The bone, or principal bone, of the upper jaw, the bone of the lower jaw being the mandible . [ Now commonly used in this restricted sense.]

2. (Zoology) One of the lower or outer jaws of arthropods.

» There are usually two pairs in Crustacea and one pair in insects. In certain insects they are not used as jaws, but may form suctorial organs. See Illust. under Lepidoptera , and Diptera .

Maxillar, Maxillary adjective [ Latin maxillaris , from maxilla jawbone, jaw: confer French maxillaire .]
1. (Anat.) Pertaining to either the upper or the lower jaw, but now usually applied to the upper jaw only. -- noun The principal maxillary bone; the maxilla.

2. (Zoology) Of or pertaining to a maxilla.

Maxilliform adjective [ Maxilla + -form : confer French maxilliforme .] Having the form, or structure, of a maxilla.

Maxilliped noun [ Maxilla + Latin pes , pedis , foot.] (Zoology) One of the mouth appendages of Crustacea, situated next behind the maxillæ. Crabs have three pairs, but many of the lower Crustacea have but one pair of them. Called also jawfoot , and foot jaw .

Maxillo-mandibular adjective [ Maxilla + mandibular .] (Anat.) Pertaining to the maxilla and mandible; as, the maxillo-mandibular nerve.

Maxillo-palatine adjective [ Maxilla + palatine .] (Anat.) Pertaining to the maxillary and palatine regions of the skull; as, the maxillo- palatine process of the maxilla. Also used as noun

Maxilloturbinal adjective [ Maxilla + turbinal .] (Anat.) Pertaining to the maxillary and turbinal regions of the skull. -- noun The maxillo-turbinal, or inferior turbinate, bone.

Maxim noun [ French maxime , Latin maxima (sc. sententia ), the greatest sentence, proposition, or axiom, i. e., of the greatest weight or authority, fem. from maximus greatest, superl. of magnus great. See Magnitude , and confer Maximum .]


1. An established principle or proposition; a condensed proposition of important practical truth; an axiom of practical wisdom; an adage; a proverb; an aphorism.

'T is their maxim , Love is love's reward.
Dryden.

2. (Mus.) The longest note formerly used, equal to two longs, or four breves; a large.

Syn. -- Axiom; aphorism; apothegm; adage; proverb; saying. See Axiom .

Maxim gun A kind of machine gun; -- named after its inventor, Hiram S. Maxim .

Maximilian noun [ From the proper name.] A gold coin of Bavaria, of the value of about 13s. 6d. sterling, or about three dollars and a quarter.

Maximization noun The act or process of increasing to the highest degree. Bentham.

Maximize transitive verb [ Latin maximus greatest.] To increase to the highest degree. Bentham.

Maximum noun ; plural Maxima . [ Latin , 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.

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

Maximum adjective Greatest in quantity or highest in degree attainable or attained; as, a maximum consumption of fuel; maximum pressure; maximum heat.

May (mā) v. [ imperfect Might (mīt)] [ Anglo-Saxon present mæg I am able, pret. meahte , mihte ; akin to Dutch mogen , German mögen , Old High German mugan , magan , Icelandic mega , Goth. magan , Russian moche . √103. Confer Dismay , Main strength, Might . The old imperfect 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 !
Spenser.

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

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

(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.
Pope.

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

How old may Phillis be, you ask.
Prior.

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

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

May noun [ Confer Icelandic mær , Goth. mawi ; akin to English maiden . √103.] A maiden. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

May noun [ French Mai , Latin Maius ; so named in honor of the goddess Maia (Gr. ...), 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.
Shak.

3. (Botany) The flowers of the hawthorn; -- so called from their time of blossoming; also, the hawthorn.

The palm and may make country houses gay.
Nash.

Plumes that mocked the may .
Tennyson.

4. The merrymaking of May Day. Tennyson.

Italian may (Botany) , a shrubby species of Spiræa ( S. hypericifolia ) with many clusters of small white flowers along the slender branches. -- May apple (Botany) , the fruit of an American plant ( Podophyllum peltatum ). Also, the plant itself (popularly called mandrake ), which has two lobed leaves, and bears a single egg-shaped fruit at the forking. The root and leaves, used in medicine, are powerfully drastic. -- May beetle , May bug (Zoology) , any one of numerous species of large lamellicorn beetles that appear in the winged state in May. They belong to Melolontha , and allied genera. Called also June beetle . -- May Day , the first day of May; -- celebrated in the rustic parts of England by the crowning of a May queen with a garland, and by dancing about a May pole. -- May dew , the morning dew of the first day of May, to which magical properties were attributed. -- May flower (Botany) , a plant that flowers in May; also, its blossom. See Mayflower , in the vocabulary. -- May fly (Zoology) , any species of Ephemera , and allied genera; -- so called because the mature flies of many species appear in May. See Ephemeral fly , under Ephemeral . -- May game , any May-day sport. -- May lady , the queen or lady of May, in old May games. -- May lily (Botany) , the lily of the valley ( Convallaria majalis ). -- May pole . See Maypole in the Vocabulary. -- May queen , a girl or young woman crowned queen in the sports of May Day. -- May thorn , the hawthorn.

May laws
1. See Kulturkampf , above.

2. In Russia, severe oppressive laws against Jews, which have given occasion for great persecution; -- so called because they received the assent of the czar in May, 1882, and because likened to the Prussian May laws (see Kulturkampf ).

Maya (mä"yä) noun (Hindoo Philos.) The name for the doctrine of the unreality of matter, called, in English, idealism ; hence, nothingness; vanity; illusion.

Mayan adjective
1. Designating, or pertaining to, an American Indian linguistic stock occupying the Mexican States of Veracruz, Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, and Yucatan, together with a part of Guatemala and a part of Salvador. The Mayan peoples are dark, short, and brachycephallic, and at the time of the discovery had attained a higher grade of culture than any other American people. They cultivated a variety of crops, were expert in the manufacture and dyeing of cotton fabrics, used cacao as a medium of exchange, and were workers of gold, silver, and copper. Their architecture comprised elaborately carved temples and places, and they possessed a superior calendar, and a developed system of hieroglyphic writing, with records said to go back to about 700 adjective d .

2. Of or pertaining to the Mayas.

Mayan arch, Maya arch A form of corbel arch employing regular small corbels.

Maybe adverb [ For it may be .] Perhaps; possibly; peradventure.

Maybe the amorous count solicits her.
Shak.

In a liberal and, maybe , somewhat reckless way.
Tylor.

Maybe adjective Possible; probable, but not sure. [ R.]

Then add those maybe years thou hast to live.
Driden.

Maybe noun Possibility; uncertainty. [ R.]

What they offer is mere maybe and shift.
Creech.

Maybird noun (Zoology) (a) The whimbrel; -- called also May fowl , May curlew , and May whaap . (b) The knot. [ Southern U. S.] (c) The bobolink.

Maybloom noun (Botany) The hawthorn.

Maybush noun (Botany) The hawthorn.

Mayduke noun [ Corrupt. of Médoc , a province in France, where it is supposed to have originated.] A large dark-red cherry of excellent quality.

Mayfish noun (Zoology) A common American minnow ( Fundulus majalis ). See Minnow .

Mayflower noun (Botany) In England, the hawthorn; in New England, the trailing arbutus (see Arbutus ); also, the blossom of these plants.

Mayhap adverb Perhaps; peradventure. [ Prov. or Dialectic]

Mayhem noun [ The same as maim . See Maim .] (Law) The maiming of a person by depriving him of the use of any of his members which are necessary for defense or protection. See Maim .

Maying noun The celebrating of May Day. "He met her once a- Maying ." Milton.

Mayonnaise noun [ French] A sauce compounded of raw yolks of eggs beaten up with olive oil to the consistency of a sirup, and seasoned with vinegar, pepper, salt, etc.; -- used in dressing salads, fish, etc. Also, a dish dressed with this sauce.

Mayor noun [ Middle English maire , French maire , from Latin major greater, higher, nobler, compar. of magnus great; confer Spanish mayor . See Major , and confer Merino .] The chief magistrate of a city or borough; the chief officer of a municipal corporation. In some American cities there is a city court of which the major is chief judge.

Mayoral noun [ Spanish , from mayor greater, Latin major .] The conductor of a mule team; also, a head shepherd.

Mayoralty noun The office, or the term of office, of a mayor.