from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An affirmative vote or voter: The ayes outnumber the nays on this issue.
- adv. Yes; yea: voted aye on the appropriations bill.
- adv. Always; ever: pledged their love for aye.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adv. ever, always
- interj. yes; yea; a word expressing assent, or an affirmative answer to a question.
- n. An affirmative vote; one who votes in the affirmative.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adv. Yes; yea; -- a word expressing assent, or an affirmative answer to a question. It is much used in viva voce voting in legislative bodies, etc.
- n. An affirmative vote; one who votes in the affirmative
- adv. Always; ever; continually; for an indefinite time.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- See ay.
- See ay.
- Yes; yea: a word expressing assent, or an affirmative answer to a question: opposed to no.
- Yes; yea; even so; truly: indicating assent to what has been said, and introducing a further or stronger statement.
- Indeed: suggesting slight surprise, interrogation, anger, or reproach, or simple attention, according to the mode of pronunciation.
- n. An affirmative answer or vote in deliberative bodies.
- n. See ey.
Perhaps from Middle English *ayye : ay, always; see aye2 + ye, yes; see yea.
Middle English ai, from Old Norse ei; see aiw- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English aye, ai, agg, from Old Norse ei, ey, from Proto-Germanic *ī́ui ‘ever, always’ (compare Old English ā, ō, Middle Dutch ie, German je), accusative of *aiwaz ‘age; law’ (compare Old English ǣ(w) ‘law’, West Frisian ieu ‘id’, Dutch eeuw ‘century’), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂éi̯us ‘long time’ (compare Irish aois ‘age, period’, Latin ævum ‘eternity’, Ancient Greek aiṓn). (Wiktionary)
Probably from use of aye as expression of agreement, or from Middle English a ye ("oh yes"). More at oh, yea. (Wiktionary)