Definition of ayre in English:



Shetland, Orkney, Scottish
  • A ridge of sand or gravel formed by the sea; a gravelly beach; a sand-spit.


Mid 16th century; earliest use found in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Probably from the unattested Norn reflex of the early Scandinavian word represented by Old Icelandic eyrr gravel-bank (Icelandic eyri), Faroese oyri gravel-bank, Norwegian ør, øyr sandbank, spit, headland, Old Swedish ör, Old Danish ør, øør sandy beach (Danish ør ridge of sand or gravel, especially one forming a spit or peninsula) from a variant (with i-mutation) of the same Germanic base as Old Icelandic aurr wet clay, loam, mud. In English regional (north-western) use probably the reflex of a borrowing of the early Scandinavian word represented by the Scandinavian forms listed above.