Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • interjection emergency, need assistance
  • noun An international distress signal used by shipping and aircraft

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

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

Etymologies

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

[From French (venez) m'aider, (come) help me!.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French m'aider (short for « Venez m'aider ! », "Come help me!").

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.

    Bennett, Thomas W. Jr.

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

    Alley, Gerald W.

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

    Camerota, Peter P.

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

    Giroux, Peter J.

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

    Copack, Joseph B. Jr.

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

    LeBlanc, Louis E. Jr.

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