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[ahy] /aɪ/
an affirmative vote or voter, especially in British Parliament, corresponding to yea in U.S. Congress.
Also, ay.
Origin of aye1
1570-80; earlier spelling I, of uncertain origin
Can be confused
aye, eye, I. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ayes
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The ayes and Noes were like two volleys of cannon from opposite sides of a field of battle.

    Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay George Otto Trevelyan
  • The ayes seem to have it, the ayes have it, and Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Adams are elected.

    America First Various
  • I ain't goin' to hold down my opinion o' that man no longer, ayes!

    The Light in the Clearing Irving Bacheller
  • As many as favor the motion make it known by saying "aye" (ayes respond).

    America First Various
  • The ayes have the chicken, and the chicken is unanimously carried.

    Hepsey Burke Frank Noyes Westcott
  • The ayes seem to have it, the ayes have it, and the paragraph on slavery is struck out.

    America First Various
  • The Speaker pronounced that the Noes had it; and the ayes did not think fit to divide.

British Dictionary definitions for ayes


sentence substitute
yes: archaic or dialectal except in voting by voice
aye aye
  1. an expression of compliance, esp used by seamen
  2. (Brit) an expression of amused surprise, esp at encountering something that confirms one's suspicions, expectations, etc
  1. a person who votes in the affirmative
  2. an affirmative vote
Compare nay
Word Origin
C16: probably from pronoun I, expressing assent


(Scot) always; still
Word Origin
Old Norse ei ever; Old English ā; compare Latin aevum an age, Greek aion aeon, aiei ever, always
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ayes



"assent," 1570s, of unknown origin, perhaps a variant of I, meaning "I assent;" or an alteration of Middle English yai "yes" (see yea), or from aye (adv.) "always, ever."


"always, ever," c.1200, from Old Norse ei "ever" (cognate with Old English a "always, ever"), from PIE *aiw- "vital force, life, long life, eternity" (cf. Greek aion "age, eternity," Latin aevum "space of time;" see eon).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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