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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Another pagan survival is the maypole.
▪ At Barwick the new garlands are taken round the surrounding villages and a collection made before they are attached to the maypole.
▪ However, their devotions were often disturbed by the sounds of revelry and dancing as the villagers gathered around the nearby maypole.
▪ I was in Barwick again on Spring Bank Tuesday to see the maypole raised, but before that was the gala.
▪ Similarly an eyelash in certain light is a prism and becomes a maypole of rainbow colours.
▪ The day will include dancing round the maypole by Stokesley Primary School.
▪ The images swirled and danced in her head like figures around a maypole.
▪ We seemed to be circling it like the ribbons of a maypole.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Maypole \May"pole`\, n. A tall pole erected in an open place and wreathed with flowers, about which the rustic May-day sports were had.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"high striped pole decorated with flowers and ribbons for May Day merrymakers to dance around," attested from 1550s but certainly much older, as the first mention of it is in an ordinance banning them, and there are references to such erections, though not by this name, from a mid-14c. Welsh poem. See May Day.


n. 1 A pole, garlanded with streamers held by people who dance around it to celebrate May Day. 2 (context euphemistic English) A penis, especially a large one.


n. a vertical pole or post decorated with streamers that can be held by dancers celebrating May Day


A maypole is a tall wooden pole erected as a part of various European folk festivals, around which a maypole dance often takes place.

The festivals may occur on May Day or Pentecost ( Whitsun), although in some countries it is instead erected at Midsummer. In some cases the maypole is a permanent feature that is only utilised during the festival, although in other cases it is erected specifically for the purpose before being taken down again.

Primarily found within the nations of Germanic Europe and the neighbouring areas which they have influenced, its origins remain unknown, although it has been speculated that it originally had some importance in the Germanic paganism of Iron Age and early Medieval cultures, and that the tradition survived Christianisation, albeit losing any original meaning that it had. It has been a recorded practice in many parts of Europe throughout the Medieval and Early Modern periods, although it became less popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, the tradition is still observed in some parts of Europe and among European communities in North America.

Maypole (disambiguation)

A maypole is a tall wooden pole.

Maypole may also refer to:

Usage examples of "maypole".

With great nimbleness, he shinned up the maypole and clung to it for dear life.

The maypole was hewn from old English oak and would never snap of its own accord.

There was sawdust in the tiring-house where the maypole was kept before it was used.

When the maypole broke, he made light of the accident in front of the spectators.

Stokehursts spent the afternoon observing the Maypole dance with the Pendletons.

Linking hands, they circled the flower-wrapped Maypole and sang pagan songs about trees, the earth, and the moon.

Tasia circled the Maypole until the world reeled around her, the torch flames dancing like fireflies.

Who, visiting those parts, caused that maypole to be cut down and rebuked them for their profaneness and admonished them to look there should be better walking.

One sketch they kept repeating showed a mixture of big and little figures dancing around a maypole affair.

But all they did was to set it up in the center like the maypole in their sketches, and sing harder.

Well, you know all about it, those first weeks with the Siggies touring around and singing in front of churches and mosques and temples, and the Unitarian minister coming out to hold joint services in the open air, and the kids wearing maypole buttons and Great Pupa buttons and all the rest.

Red and Yellow Siggies were on their way out of our system, leaving us with five smashed cities, innumerable wrecked houses of religion, and more maypole effigies of the Great Pupa than could be counted before they were melted down.

They may have spent some time around the old Straits Hotel and the Maypole Bar in Singapore.

He may have been part of the Straits Hotel, Maypole Bar crowd in Singapore.

Also, anyone familiar with Singapore in the late 1920s, the old Straits Hotel, and the Maypole Bar.