- 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.
Origin of aisle
Examples from the Web for aisles
It certainly smelled like something other than natural good vibes was fueling the impromptu dancing in the aisles.Bob Weir on Drugged-Out Deadheads and Living in Jerry Garcia’s Shadow|Emily Shire|April 25, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Just ask all those scientists in the aisles of my local Whole Foods.
But in this theater, they are still only second-class citizens, waiting in the aisles of history.Palestinians Cast a U.N. Vote, Move Closer to State Recognition|Matt Surrusco|November 25, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Models moved down into the audience, working the aisles at a busy pace while wearing these new incarnations of the Chanel look.
And now, two San Francisco cops were stepping over suitcases piled up in the aisles as they made their way toward me.
The form of the crypt is that of a perfect Romanesque basilica, a nave and two aisles terminating a three-lobed apse.The Cathedrals of Northern Spain|Charles Rudy
But there can be little doubt that his work included the eastern bays and aisles of both transepts.The Cathedral Church of Peterborough|W.D. Sweeting
As she passed silently along the aisles, she cast a look of anxious examination around—but Ferdinand was no where to be seen.A Sicilian Romance|Ann Radcliffe
Jack wouldn't see the monument to-day, and having paid his half-crown, was left to wander about alone through the aisles.Is He Popenjoy?|Anthony Trollope
The aisles around the transept form the most imposing part of the church.How France Built Her Cathedrals|Elizabeth Boyle O'Reilly
British Dictionary definitions for aisles
Word Origin for aisle
Word Origin and History for aisles
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.