\ ˈānt How to pronounce ain't (audio) \

Definition of ain't

1 : am not : are not : is not
2 : have not : has not

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Is ain't a word?: Usage Guide

Although widely disapproved as nonstandard, and more common in the habitual speech of the less educated, ain't is flourishing in American English. It is used in both speech and writing to catch attention and to gain emphasis. the wackiness of movies, once so deliciously amusing, ain't funny anymore — Richard Schickel I am telling you—there ain't going to be any blackmail — R. M. Nixon It is used especially in journalistic prose as part of a consistently informal style. the creative process ain't easy — Mike Royko This informal ain't is commonly distinguished from habitual ain't by its frequent occurrence in fixed constructions and phrases. well—class it ain't — Cleveland Amory for money? say it ain't so, Jimmy! — Andy Rooney you ain't seen nothing yet that ain't hay two out of three ain't bad if it ain't broke, don't fix it In fiction ain't is used for purposes of characterization; in familiar correspondence it tends to be the mark of a warm personal friendship. It has also long been commonly used in popular songs, both for metrical reasons and for the informal tone it conveys. Ain't She Sweet It Ain't Necessarily So Our evidence shows British use to be much the same as American.

Examples of ain't in a Sentence

It's a free country, ain't it? Those people ain't got a clue. Her husband left and she ain't never been the same.
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First Known Use of ain't

1749, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ain't

contraction of are not

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Time Traveler for ain't

Time Traveler

The first known use of ain't was in 1749

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Statistics for ain't

Cite this Entry

“Ain't.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for ain't


\ ˈānt How to pronounce ain't (audio) \

Kids Definition of ain't

1 : am not : are not : is not … the man who swept the streets said: “Well now, ain't that nice!”— Robert McCloskey, Make Way for Ducklings
2 : have not : has not “She ain't seen me for a week …”— Richard Peck, A Long Way From Chicago

More from Merriam-Webster on ain't

Nglish: Translation of ain't for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ain't for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ain't

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