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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 May v. [imp. Might ]  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.”
 May be, ∧ It may be, are used as equivalent to possibly, perhaps, maybe, by chance, peradventure. See 1st Maybe.