nay

adverb
\ ˈnā How to pronounce nay (audio) \

Definition of nay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 old-fashioned + literary used to correct what has just been said by replacing a word with one that is more accurate or appropriate The letter made him happy, nay, ecstatic.Joseph was an elderly, nay, an old man—very old, perhaps, though hale and sinewy.— Emily Brontë… bodies of work that have shown themselves to be crucial to an understanding of the art—nay, the culture—of our times.— Carter Ratcliff
2 old-fashioned : no Only one councillor voted nay on the proposal. I dare not say him nay. [=I dare not say no to him] … he was young and too good-natured to say nay to any woman who wooed him.— Samuel Butler "Gold digging, sir?" "Nay, sir," answered I, starting, "I was merely—ahem!—merely—I say I was merely digging-round my chimney."— Herman Melville

nay

noun

Definition of nay (Entry 2 of 2)

2a : a negative reply or vote The nays outnumbered the ayes, and so the measure did not pass.
b : one who votes no He voted with the nays.

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Synonyms & Antonyms for nay

Synonyms: Adverb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of nay in a Sentence

Adverb Nay, I do not wish to go. I was angry—nay, furious—at the way they were treating that poor dog. Noun when the votes were tallied, it was 241 yeas and 54 nays gave a resounding nay to the request for a mixed-company camping trip
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb So, coming live from my Van Down By the River, Old Prospector's pickaxe in my right hand, Cowbell in my left, Opera Man wig on my head, El Nino thundering away above it, here are the eight footballers who could, nay should, host SNL. SI.com, "8 Footballers Who Absolutely Have to Host Saturday Night Live," 9 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As for our 30-year-old son living in New York, I FaceTimed or Zoomed with him to go through his items one by one, getting a yea or nay for each item. Washington Post, "The pandemic gave me the time to finally clean out my shameful attic. Here’s what I learned.," 21 Jan. 2021 Lamar Jackson is clearing — nay, deodorizing — the air over his temporary departure from the field during Monday night's game. Jen Juneau, PEOPLE.com, "Lamar Jackson Hilariously Responds After Fans Speculate He Rushed Off Field to Go to the Bathroom," 15 Dec. 2020 The law, named for Ka'Mauri Harrison, a Woodmere Elementary student who served a six-day suspension in September, sailed through the Louisiana Legislature this year without a nay vote. Faimon Roberts, NOLA.com, "Here's why the Jefferson School Board plans to challenge the new Ka'Mauri Harrison law in court," 2 Dec. 2020 The nay votes came from Steve Fletcher, Jeremiah Ellison, Cam Gordon, Phillipe Cunningham, Lisa Bender and Jeremy Schroeder. Editorial Board Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Mpls. City Council should OK police chief's request for funding," 12 Nov. 2020 If a state delegation is deadlocked, they aren’t counted as a yea or nay for either candidate, said Edward Foley, constitutional law professor at Ohio State University. Sarah D. Wire, Los Angeles Times, "President Pelosi? Odds are low, but here’s how it could happen," 29 Oct. 2020 Unique among series-production vehicles, Rolls-Royces feature—nay, are built around—classic coach doors, even on two-door models like Wraith. Dan Neil, WSJ, "Rolls-Royce’s $400,000 Attempt at a Low-Key, ‘Minimalist’ Sedan," 30 Sep. 2020 The nay votes were all Democrats, Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz of Hawaii, and Ron Wyden of Oregon. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Senate approves Ludwig for federal court seat in Milwaukee," 9 Sep. 2020 Votes on March 22-23 in the Senate that drew Democratic nays were procedural in nature and were not a vote on the package itself, which was still being drafted – no formal bill existed. Katie Wadington, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Not true that no Democrats voted for coronavirus stimulus package," 25 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nay.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of nay

Adverb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nay

Adverb and Noun

Middle English, from Old Norse nei, from ne not + ei ever — more at no, aye

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Time Traveler for nay

Time Traveler

The first known use of nay was in the 13th century

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Statistics for nay

Cite this Entry

“Nay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nay. Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for nay

nay

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of nay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

old-fashioned + literary used to correct what you have said by replacing a word with one that is more accurate or appropriate

nay

noun

English Language Learners Definition of nay (Entry 2 of 2)

formal : a no vote

nay

adverb
\ ˈnā How to pronounce nay (audio) \

Kids Definition of nay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: no entry 1 sense 2 Are you coming? Nay, I'm not.

nay

noun
plural nays

Kids Definition of nay (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : no entry 3 sense 2 The final vote was 3 ayes and 6 nays.

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More from Merriam-Webster on nay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nay

Nglish: Translation of nay for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nay for Arabic Speakers

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