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

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 By the time a few dozen women are dancing in circles around a maypole, even the camerawork — with its sinuous flow and contrapuntal push-ins and pullouts — seems to be tightening its grip on the visitors. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "‘Midsommar’ Review: Building a Horror Møusetrap With Swedish Bait," 2 July 2019 Models danced with umbrellas, ran, played soccer, tied ribbons around a multicolored maypole and, at the end, embarked on an all-out park carnival, replete with a musical band and drummers. Washington Post, "Sheer spectacle: Paris is the real star of menswear shows," 20 June 2019 That could be the tagline for Ari Aster’s terror-round-the-maypole dread-fest Midsommar, if the movie had even the remotest sense of humor about itself. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Midsommar Loses Its Plot Under a Sinister Midnight Sun," 27 June 2019 In Sweden, residents celebrate the summer solstice by dancing around a maypole and feasting on herrings., "4 ways to celebrate the summer solstice in Portland," 20 June 2019 The traditional Scandinavian holiday of Midsummer welcomes the summer solstice with maypole dancing, drinking, and romance. National Geographic, "What is the summer solstice? The answer might surprise you.," 20 June 2019 Fun and Games Midsummer is not complete without a maypole. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "How to Throw a Scandinavian Midsummer Celebration," 22 June 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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Dictionary Entries near maypole


May pear

May pink


Maypole dance


May queen

Statistics for maypole

Last Updated

24 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for maypole

The first known use of maypole was in 1529

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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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with maypole

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