from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An ancient Celtic feast marked by the lighting of bonfires and the performance of various rites of purification.
- n. The day on which this feast was held, usually May 1.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- proper n. An ancient Gaelic/Celtic holiday celebrated around the first of May.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The first day of May (Old Style).
- n. A festival of the heathen Celts on the first day of May, in the observance of which great bonfires were kindled. It still exists in a modified form in some parts of Scotland and Ireland.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The first day of May (old style); old Mayday, one of the four quarter-days (the others being Lammas, Hallow-mass, and Candlemas) anciently observed in Scotland.
- n. An ancient Celtic festival or anniversary formerly observed on Beltane or May-day in Scotland, and in Ireland on June 21st.
Middle English, from Scottish Gaelic bealltainn.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)