• synonyms


  1. a nocturnal lemur, Daubentonia madagascariensis, of Madagascar, feeding on insects and fruit, and having rodentlike incisors and long fingers: an endangered species.
Show More

Origin of aye-aye

1775–85; < French < Malagasy aiay, probably imitative of its cry
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for aye-aye

Historical Examples

  • The aye-aye, in every point of its structure, like every created thing, is full of design.

    Heads and Tales


  • Strange to say, the natives of Madagascar are much afraid of the aye-aye.

  • For example, a Christian wrote to me about an animal called the aye-aye.

    God and my Neighbour

    Robert Blatchford

  • But he and Cassandra were absorbed in the aye-aye once more.

    Night and Day

    Virginia Woolf

  • Aye-aye (ī-ī; Cheirŏmys madagascariensis), an animal of Madagascar, so called from its cry; now referred to the lemur family.

British Dictionary definitions for aye-aye


  1. a rare nocturnal arboreal prosimian primate of Madagascar, Daubentonia madagascariensis, related to the lemurs: family Daubentoniidae. It has long bony fingers and rodent-like incisor teeth adapted for feeding on insect larvae and bamboo pith
Show More

Word Origin

C18: from French, from Malagasy aiay, probably of imitative origin
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