Main definitions of aye in English

: aye1aye2

aye1

(also ay)

exclamation

Archaic, dialect
  • 1Said to express assent; yes.

    ‘aye, you're right there’
    • ‘So, mind that ye put in water right away, aye and a drop or two of Irish Whiskey will help.’
    • ‘Oh aye, sorry I was miles away, I'll be right there.’
    • ‘Oh aye, I miss it, but it's the homework I miss most of all.’
    1. 1.1Nautical
      A response accepting an order.
      ‘aye aye, captain’
      • ‘Carlis says he doesn't think ‘aye aye’ is a dignified response.’
      • ‘All the Joint Chiefs except for Barrow had said, aye aye, sir, we'll go over to Congress to testify in favor of eliminating restrictions on women in combat.’
      • ‘Aye, aye captain.’
      • ‘‘Aye, aye, master,’ said the man; ‘we are English.’’
      • ‘In the Marine Corps, the nautical expression "Aye, Aye, Sir" is used when acknowledging a verbal order.’
    2. 1.2(in voting) I assent.
      ‘all in favour say aye’
      • ‘Speaker Neil Andrew asked those in favour to say aye.’
      • ‘All those in favour of watching home movies say aye.’
      • ‘Mr. Chairman, 11 members have voted aye, 27 members have voted no.’
      • ‘All in favour of dumping the strawberries say aye.’
      • ‘Representatives from IBM, Toshiba, Hitachi, Iomega, Microsoft, Phoenix, Absolute Software, and Circuit Assembly voted aye.’

noun

  • An affirmative answer, especially in voting.

    ‘the House divided: Ayes 211, Noes 271’
    • ‘Voting can be accomplished by raising hands, by paper ballots, by calling for the ayes and nays, by marching before an official counter, or by installing computer terminals for each legislator on which votes are registered.’
    • ‘But a source present at the bishops’ meeting said the measure was approved with almost no debate, on a voice vote with a lusty chorus of ayes.’
    • ‘For example, the Challenge Round, while receiving more ayes than nays from fans, will definitely be modified to provide greater drama for the audience.’
    • ‘After a chorus of ayes, I began walking towards the stables.’
    • ‘Pota passed into law with 425 ayes to 296 nays after a bitter 10-hour debate that was punctuated by vicious personal attacks.’
    • ‘As I went through voting I noticed at least what I saw were all ayes.’
    • ‘The band's preferred method of crafting their uptempo, über-'80s tunes involves intense collaboration and consolidation of the best parts, chosen in almost anally democratic rounds of ayes and nays.’
    • ‘Well the result of division there being 32 ayes and 31 nos, the matter is resolved in the affirmative.’
    • ‘If one goes to the application book, volume 1, page 23, line 30, it can be seen that it is recorded that the result of the division, this is on the second reading: ayes 14 and noes 13.’
    • ‘They then circled ayes or no for each question on an answer sheet they had been provided.’

Phrases

  • the ayes have it

    • The affirmative votes are in the majority.

      • ‘There do not appear to be any contributions to be made to that debate, he said and went through ‘the ayes have it’ speech again.’
      • ‘The two stragglers struck up a conversation and, bingo, the ayes having it in the two person conclave, a torrid, though short-lived affair was launched.’
      • ‘The Speaker acknowledged that she was right in what she said but the Motion had been put to the vote and the ayes had had it.’
      • ‘I started in the No camp but putting myself on both sides of the fence, I now think that the ayes have it.’

Origin

Late 16th century: probably from I, first person personal pronoun, expressing assent.

Pronunciation:

aye

/ʌɪ/

Main definitions of aye in English

: aye1aye2

aye2

adverb

Scottish
Archaic
  • Always or still.

    ‘I've aye fancied seeing Edinburgh’
    • ‘I’ve aye fancied mysel’ as the Gala Queen.’
    all right, alright, very well, of course, by all means, sure, certainly, absolutely, indeed, affirmative, in the affirmative, agreed, roger
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • for aye

    • archaic Forever.

      ‘I shall treasure the memory for aye’
      • ‘The corresponding English proverb states: ‘He that would live for aye, Must eat sage in May.’’
      • ‘If we can do that, the banner of one nation can be unfurled by the warm breath of our various gods, sent to caress our souls - and to God be the glory for aye and for aye.’
      • ‘He who has once been happy is for aye out of destruction's reach.’
      forever, permanently, for always, for good and all, perpetually, eternally, for ever and ever, for all time, for all future time, to the end of time, until the end of time, world without end, endlessly, timelessly, for eternity, in perpetuity, everlastingly, enduringly, never to return
      View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Old Norse ei, ey; related to Latin aevum age and Greek aie(i) ever, aiōn aeon.

Pronunciation:

aye

/eɪ/