One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Said to express assent; yes.‘aye, you're right about that’
- ‘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.’
- 1.1aye, ayeNautical A response acknowledging an order.‘aye aye, captain’
- ‘Carlis says he doesn't think ‘aye aye’ is a dignified response.’
- ‘Aye, aye captain.’
- ‘In the Marine Corps, the nautical expression "Aye, Aye, Sir" is used when acknowledging a verbal order.’
- ‘‘Aye, aye, master,’ said the man; ‘we are English.’’
- ‘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.’
- 1.2 (in voting) I assent.‘all in favor say, “aye.”’
- ‘Representatives from IBM, Toshiba, Hitachi, Iomega, Microsoft, Phoenix, Absolute Software, and Circuit Assembly voted aye.’
- ‘Speaker Neil Andrew asked those in favour to say aye.’
- ‘Mr. Chairman, 11 members have voted aye, 27 members have voted no.’
- ‘All those in favour of watching home movies say aye.’
- ‘All in favour of dumping the strawberries say aye.’
An affirmative answer or assent, especially in voting.‘the House was divided: Ayes 211, Noes 271’
- ‘Pota passed into law with 425 ayes to 296 nays after a bitter 10-hour debate that was punctuated by vicious personal attacks.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Well the result of division there being 32 ayes and 31 nos, the matter is resolved in the affirmative.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘They then circled ayes or no for each question on an answer sheet they had been provided.’
- ‘As I went through voting I noticed at least what I saw were all ayes.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘After a chorus of ayes, I began walking towards the stables.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘For example, the Challenge Round, while receiving more ayes than nays from fans, will definitely be modified to provide greater drama for the audience.’
the ayes have it
The affirmative votes are in the majority.
- ‘I started in the No camp but putting myself on both sides of the fence, I now think that the ayes have it.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
Late 16th century: probably from I, first person personal pronoun, expressing assent.
Always or still.
- ‘Ive aye fancied mysel as the Gala Queen.’
archaic Forever.‘I shall treasure the memory for aye’
forever, permanently, for always, for good and all, perpetually, eternally, evermore, for evermore, 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 returnView synonyms
- ‘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.’
- ‘The corresponding English proverb states: ‘He that would live for aye, Must eat sage in May.’’
- ‘He who has once been happy is for aye out of destruction's reach.’
Middle English: from Old Norse ei, ey; related to Latin aevum ‘age’ and Greek aie(i) ‘ever’, aiōn ‘eon’.
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