Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An affirmative vote or voter.
  • adverb Yes; yea.
  • adverb Archaic Always; ever.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • See ay.
  • noun An affirmative answer or vote in deliberative bodies.
  • 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.
  • noun See ey.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adverb 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.
  • noun An affirmative vote; one who votes in the affirmative
  • adverb Always; ever; continually; for an indefinite time.
  • adverb ; forever; eternally.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • interjection yes; yea; a word expressing assent, or an affirmative answer to a question.
  • noun An affirmative vote; one who votes in the affirmative.
  • adverb archaic ever, always

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Perhaps from Middle English *ayye : ay, always; see aye + ye, yes; see yea.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English ai, from Old Norse ei; see aiw- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Probably from use of aye as expression of agreement, or from Middle English a ye ("oh yes"). More at oh, yea.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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).

Examples

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