aye

1 of 3

adverb (1)

variants or less commonly ay
: yes
aye, aye, sir

aye

2 of 3

noun

variants or less commonly ay
plural ayes
: an affirmative vote or voter
the ayes have it

aye

3 of 3

adverb (2)

variants or less commonly ay
: always, continually, ever
love that will aye endureW. S. Gilbert

Examples of aye in a Sentence

Adverb (1) I aye thought that she was the loveliest woman I ever laid eyes on a friendship that will aye endure Adverb (2) aye, you're right about that
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The seven-person board was divided, 4-3, with Schaeffer casting the deciding aye vote, the company said. Justin Wingerter, The Denver Post, 3 May 2024 New charges were filed against Donald Trump in the classified documents case, Sen. Dianne Feinstein gets confused and has to be told to vote aye, and a new bill could eliminate rates for many student loan borrowers. Dana Taylor, USA TODAY, 28 July 2023 Last week, the House Republicans passed their debt-limit budget bill, with all but four members of their caucus voting aye. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 17 May 2023 Even Mitch McConnell, who led the Supreme Court blockade of Garland five years ago, was an aye vote for Garland when his nomination reached the Senate floor. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 26 Apr. 2021 Despite the unanimity of the vote, Vice Chair Liz Cheney still called for a roll call tally for posterity, and each member once more solemnly cast their aye vote individually. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 13 Oct. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aye.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adverb (1)

of uncertain origin

Note: Perhaps a univerbation in Middle English of the interjection ah ah entry 1 and the affirmative ye yea entry 1 with shift of stress; however, Middle English evidence for such a phrase is lacking.

Noun

noun derivative of aye entry 1

Adverb (2)

Middle English ay, borrowed from Old Norse ei, ey, æ "ever, forever," going back to Germanic *aiwim or *aiwom (whence also Old English ā "always, ever, eternally," Old Saxon io, eo "ever, at any time, always," Old High German io, eo "on every occasion, always," Gothic ni … aiw "never"), accusative forms, used adverbially, of *aiwis or *aiwos "time, eternity" (whence Old Frisian ēwe "eternity," Old Saxon and Old High German ēwa, Middle Dutch ēwe, ee "age, eternity"), going back to Indo-European *h2ei̯-u̯o- "eternity, age," whence also Latin aevus, aevum "time as the medium in which events occur, age, lifetime"; also, from a stem h2ei̯-u̯-on-, Greek aiṓn "lifetime, long period of time, age"; and from a u-stem with ablaut and shifting stress *h2ói̯-u-, *h2i̯-éu̯-s, Sanskrit ā́yuḥ "vital force," Avestan āiiu (nominative), yaoš (genitive) "lifetime"

Note: In Middle English the outcome of the Old Norse word has fallen together with the outcome of Old English -æg (as in dæg "day"). Old English ā continued into Middle English as o, oo, and the two words may occur combined as "(for) ay and oo," meaning "forever." For incorporation of ā into compounds in Old English see aught entry 1, no entry 1, naught entry 1, each entry 1. Overlapping in formation with this Germanic etymon is a homonymous root evident in Old English ǣ "law, marriage," Old Frisian ē, ēwe, iōwe "law," Old Saxon ēo, ēu, Old High German ēwa, ēwī "law, command, covenant" (see echt). The two roots have been taken by some as identical, with the sense "law" a concretization of the sense "what lasts, what always exists."

First Known Use

Adverb (1)

1576, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1589, in the meaning defined above

Adverb (2)

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of aye was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near aye

Cite this Entry

“Aye.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aye. Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

aye

1 of 3 adverb
variants also ay

aye

2 of 3 adverb
variants also ay
: yes entry 1 sense 1
aye, aye, sir

aye

3 of 3 noun
variants also ay
plural ayes
: a vote yes or a person who votes yes
Etymology

Adverb

Middle English aye "always"; of Scandinavian origin

Adverb

perhaps from Middle English ye "yes, yea"

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