- 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 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
April 25, 2014
Just ask all those scientists in the aisles of my local Whole Foods.Whole Foods: America’s Temple of Pseudoscience
February 23, 2014
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
November 25, 2013
Models moved down into the audience, working the aisles at a busy pace while wearing these new incarnations of the Chanel look.Chanel, Back to the Future
July 2, 2013
And now, two San Francisco cops were stepping over suitcases piled up in the aisles as they made their way toward me.The National-Security Diaper Scramble
April 25, 2013
Saxon arches separating the nave from the aisles and chancel are plain.English Villages
P. H. Ditchfield
But in the dimness of these two aisles lurks the spirit of the wilds.The Forest
Stewart Edward White
Fair the long reaches of sun and shade in the aisles of the forest.Poems
William D. Howells
It is usually in three bays and opens into the aisles and central area.Byzantine Churches in Constantinople
Alexander Van Millingen
Ladies in beautiful spring dresses were following the vergers up the aisles.The Christian
- 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 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.