noun, often capitalized
may·​pole | \ ˈmā-ˌpōl How to pronounce maypole (audio) \

Definition of maypole

: a tall flower-wreathed pole forming a center for May Day sports and dances

Examples of maypole in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Typically, friends and family gather outside for a party, eat traditional food, make floral wreaths, dance around a maypole. Cailey Rizzo, Travel + Leisure, "Get Your Flower Crown Ready — Sweden's Midsummer Celebration Is Going Virtual," 18 June 2020 April 4, 2020 And all around him, like a maypole, the other UCLA players were swinging and swaying. Mike Downey, Los Angeles Times, "From the archives: UCLA overcomes many challenges to win 1995 NCAA title," 6 Apr. 2020 This is a party, after all, and so the adults, all hopped up on champagne, try a formal maypole dance but make a mess of it and end in a heap, all perfectly in time with Tchaikovsky’s stately music. Washington Post, "Atlanta Ballet’s high-tech ‘Nutcracker’ at Kennedy Center is one of the most entertaining out there," 28 Nov. 2019 Incensed, the Pilgrims broke up Morton’s community, chopped down the maypole, and left Morton for dead on an island off New Hampshire. National Geographic, "How to remember such a long-ago sacrafice?," 11 Nov. 2019 Runes are all over Midsommar: embroidered on clothes, hanging on their maypole structure, painted on the walls. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Midsommar Is a Nightmare in Broad Daylight," 5 July 2019 Today, people celebrate May Day on May 1 by dancing around a maypole decorated with colorful ribbons, gathering wildflowers, and sometimes electing a May Queen. Elena Nicolaou,, "How Midsommar's May Queen Scene Connects To A Real Swedish Legend," 5 July 2019 Scandinavian Midsommar Celebration: Make flower crowns, decorate the maypole, enjoy ethnic dancers and music, kubb games, children’s activities, 1-4 p.m. June 23, Heidelberg Park, Bavarian Bierhaus, 700 W. Lexington Blvd. Elaine Rewolinski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "What's going on in Milwaukee this week: June 21-27," 20 June 2019 Primitive humans once celebrated May 1 with fertility rituals — think maidens with garlands dancing around a priapic maypole. John Kelly, Washington Post, "May Day used to be a big deal in Washington. Could it ever be again?," 30 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'maypole.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of maypole

1529, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of maypole was in 1529

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Cite this Entry

“Maypole.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for maypole


How to pronounce maypole (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of maypole

: a tall pole decorated with ribbons and flowers that forms a center for the spring festival held on May 1

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