Hypertext Webster Gateway: "might"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Might \Might\,
imp. of {May}. [AS. meahte, mihte.]

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Might \Might\, n. [AS. meaht, miht, from the root of magan to be
able, E. may; akin to D. magt, OS. maht, G. macht, Icel.
m[=a]ttr, Goth. mahts. ????. See {May}, v.]
Force or power of any kind, whether of body or mind; energy
or intensity of purpose, feeling, or action; means or
resources to effect an object; strength; force; power;
ability; capacity.

What so strong, But wanting rest, will also want of
might? --Spenser.

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. --Deut.
vi. 5.

{With might and main}. See under 2d {Main}.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

May \May\, v. [imp. {Might}] [AS. pres. m[ae]g I am able, pret.
meahte, mihte; akin to D. mogen, G. m["o]gen, OHG. mugan,
magan, Icel. mega, Goth. magan, Russ. moche. ?. Cf. {Dismay},
{Main} strength, {Might}. The old imp. mought is obsolete,
except as a provincial word.]
An auxiliary verb qualifyng the meaning of another verb, by
(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.

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}.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n : physical strength [syn: {mightiness}, {power}]
v 1: expresses permission; "You may leave now"; "Can I have
another piece of cake?" [syn: {can}, {may}]
2: expresses possibility; "I could do it by myself" [syn: {could}]

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