[ ahyl ]
See synonyms for: aisleaisles on

  1. a walkway between or along blocks or rows of seats in a theater, classroom, airplane, etc.: We were glad to get seats next to the aisle for that flight.

  2. Architecture.

    • a longitudinal division of an interior area, such as in a church, separated from the main area by an arcade or the like.

    • any of the longitudinal divisions of a church or similarly shaped building.

  1. the aisle, the divide or division between two political factions or parties: The Democrat reached across the aisle to form a bipartisan coalition.Her proposal was criticized by folks on both sides of the aisle.

Idioms about aisle

  1. in the aisles. rolling (def. 10).

  2. walk / go down the aisle, to get married: Fewer couples are walking down the aisle these days.

Origin of aisle

First recorded in 1350–1400, and in 1880–85 for def. 3; alteration (with ai from French aile “wing”) of earlier ile, isle (with s from isle), from Middle French, from Latin āla “wing,” cognate with axle; see ala; sense of def. 3 derives from the central aisle dividing Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and in other legislative chambers

Other words from aisle

  • aisled, adjective
  • un·aisled, adjective

Words that may be confused with aisle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use aisle in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for aisle


/ (aɪl) /

  1. a passageway separating seating areas in a theatre, church, etc; gangway

  2. a lateral division in a church flanking the nave or chancel

  1. rolling in the aisles informal (of an audience) overcome with laughter

Origin of aisle

C14 ele (later aile, aisle, through confusion with isle (island)), via Old French from Latin āla wing

Derived forms of aisle

  • aisled, adjective
  • aisleless, adjective

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