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ay1

[ey]
adverb Archaic.
  1. ever; always.
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Also aye.

Origin of ay1

1150–1200; Middle English ei, ai < Scandinavian; compare Old Norse ei, cognate with Old English ā ever

ay2

[ey]
interjection Archaic.
  1. (used to express regret or sorrow.)
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Origin of ay2

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50

ay3

[ahy]
adverb, noun
  1. aye1.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ay

Historical Examples

  • Ay, ay,” said Tibble, regarding him with a well-pleased face.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • Ay, sure, both of us; but Ambrose is the best scribe,” said Stephen.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • Tis none other that the Dean sets forth, ay, and the book that I have here.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • Ay, where the Frenchmen live that calender worsted,” returned Giles.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • I gave it—ay, I gave it to a youth that came to mine aid, and reclaimed a falcon for me!

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge


British Dictionary definitions for ay

ay1

adverb
  1. archaic, poetic ever; always
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Word Origin

C12 ai, from Old Norse ei; related to Old English ā always, Latin aevum an age, Greek aiōn

ay2

aye

interjection
  1. archaic, poetic an expression of misery or surprise
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Word Origin

C14 ey: from an involuntary cry of surprise

ay3

sentence substitute, noun
  1. a variant spelling of aye 1
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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

Word Origin and History for ay

see aye.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper