Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An international radiotelephone signal word used by aircraft and ships in distress.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • interj. emergency, need assistance
  • n. An international distress signal used by shipping and aircraft

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an internationally recognized distress signal via radiotelephone (from the French m'aider)

Etymologies

From French (venez) m'aider, (come) help me!.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French m'aider (short for « Venez m'aider ! », "Come help me!"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • At about 1648 hours, the U.S. Air Force airborne command post, Hillsborough, received a mayday from the two OV1 aircraft, and dispatched two FACs in the area for an immediate search for the two downed air crews.

    Lafayette, John W.

  • At about 1648 hours, the U.S. Air Force airborne command post, Hillsborough, received a mayday from the two OV1 aircraft, and dispatched two FAC in the area for an immediate search for the two downed air crews.

    Gates, James W.

  • When Frank was valiantly landing the plane (he's proven time and time again he's a damn good pilot), his doomed co-pilot was calling mayday and the only response he got was the transmission of 4-8-15-16-23-42.

    Jay Glatfelter: On Lost: "Namaste"

  • We also expressed regret that although our pilot called mayday, that that message was not received at the military base on Hainan Island, therefore, we landed technically without clearance and we were sorry there was that failure of communication.

    CNN Transcript Apr 11, 2001

  • Bennett called the mayday and manually ejected the pilot, who had blacked out and then bailed out himself.

    Camerota, Peter P.

  • Air Force records indicate that Bennett called the mayday and manually ejected

    Alley, Gerald W.

  • Officials say firefighters were searching the building when they heard Bowen call "mayday" on his radio.

    StarTribune.com rss feed

  • You are doubtless aware that Mr Bloomfield gave up to us, for a certain consideration, one fourth share of the 'mayday', and that afterward he sold us for £100 another fourth and half of Hazelwood

    Letter 373

  • This pattern is from Jen at MOMSPatterns, who is also having a quick sale: Save 25% off your orders with MOMSPatterns Friday, Saturday & Sunday only using coupon code 'mayday'.

    May 2010

  • The captain tried to transmit a "mayday" call but the radio was inoperative.

    Disappearance Triggers Many Questions, but Few Answers

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.