and not only so but; not only that but also; indeed: many good, nay, noble qualities.
Archaic. no (used in dissent, denial, or refusal).


a denial or refusal.
a negative vote or voter.

Origin of nay

1125–75; Middle English nai, nei < Old Norse nei no, contraction of ne not + ei ever; see na, ay1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for nay

denial, negative, against

Examples from the Web for nay

Contemporary Examples of nay

Historical Examples of nay

British Dictionary definitions for nay


sentence substitute

mainly archaic, or dialect an archaic or dialect (except in voting by voice) word for no 1


  1. a person who votes in the negative
  2. a negative vote


(sentence modifier) archaic an emphatic form of no 1
Compare aye 1

Word Origin for nay

C12: from Old Norse nei, from ne not + ei ever, ay 1
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 nay

word of negation, late 12c., from a Scandinavian source, cf. Old Norse nei, compound of ne "not" (see un-) + ei "ever" (see aye (2)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper