- a walkway between or along sections of seats in a theater, classroom, or the like.
- a longitudinal division of an interior area, as in a church, separated from the main area by an arcade or the like.
- any of the longitudinal divisions of a church or the like.
- in the aisles, (of an audience) convulsed with laughter.
Origin of aisle
Examples from the Web for aisle
The mistletoe must have been hanging right across the aisle on Capital Hill.Congress’ Gift That Keeps on Giving
P. J. O’Rourke
December 20, 2014
But from the outside, from my side of the aisle, the situation seems very clear.Dear Evangelicals: You’re Being Had
November 30, 2014
Princess Ariel and Prince Eric walk down the aisle, and are greeted by a stout clergyman who is allegedly too happy to see them.When the Religious Right Attacked ‘The Little Mermaid’
November 20, 2014
Many from his side of the aisle are now just as wrong on this issue as his opponents are.The Pipeline From Hell: There’s No Good Reason to Build Keystone XL
November 15, 2014
Luggage spilled into the aisle as the bus pulled out of the station.On the Bus: Ukraine’s Frontline Express Across the Battle Lines
September 8, 2014
Outside in the aisle stood a man with a silk hat in his hand.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
At this the young men, who now filled the aisle, raised a mighty booing.The Burning Spear
He took two steps down the aisle, and caught the little figure in his arms.Stories of a Western Town
Perhaps it was Uncle Larry She had smiled at all the time, across the aisle.
The first Sunday that She smiled at him across the aisle was the beginning.
- a passageway separating seating areas in a theatre, church, etc; gangway
- a lateral division in a church flanking the nave or chancel
- rolling in the aisles informal (of an audience) overcome with laughter
Word Origin and History for aisle
late 14c., ele, "lateral division of a church (usually separated by a row of pillars), from Old French ele "wing (of a bird or an army), side of a ship" (12c., Modern French aile), from Latin ala, related to axilla "wing, upper arm, armpit; wing of an army," from PIE *aks- "axis" (see axis), via a suffixed form *aks-la-. The root meaning in "turning" connects it with axle and axis.
Confused 15c. with unrelated ile "island" (perhaps from notion of a "detached" part of a church), and so it took an -s- when isle did, c.1700; by 1750 it had acquired an a-, on the model of French cognate aile. The word also was confused with alley, which gave it the sense of "passage between rows of pews or seats" (1731), which was thence extended to railway cars, theaters, etc.