nay

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See also: Nay, NAY, này, näy, nạy, ŋay, and n'ay

English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English nai, nei, from Old Norse nei (no), contraction of ne (not) + ei (ever), itself from Proto-Germanic *nai (never), *nē (not). More at no.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adverb[edit]

nay (not comparable)

  1. (now chiefly archaic, humorous or regional) No. [from 12th c.]
  2. (now chiefly archaic or regional) Introducing a statement, without direct negation. [from 14th c.]
    • 1876, Henry James, Roderick Hudson:
      Nay, what are you smiling at so damnably?
  3. (now archaic or humorous) Or rather, or should I say; moreover (introducing a stronger and more appropriate expression than the preceding one). [from 16th c.]
    His face was dirty, nay, filthy.
    • 1663, Samuel Butler, Hudibras, part 1, canto 2:
      [] And proved not only horse, but cows, / Nay pigs, were of the elder house: / For beasts, when man was but a piece / Of earth himself, did th' earth possess.
    • 1748, David Hume, chapter 18, in Enquiries concerning the human understanding and concerning the principles of moral, London: Oxford University Press, published 1973:
      And even in our wildest and most wandering reveries, nay in our very dreams, we shall find, if we reflect, that the imagination ran not altogether at adventures,

Translations[edit]

Usage notes[edit]

In Early Modern English, nay was used to respond to a positive question, while no was used to respond to a negative question. Over time, this distinction disappeared.

Interjection[edit]

nay

  1. (archaic) No.

Derived terms[edit]

Noun[edit]

nay (plural nays)

  1. A vote against.
    I vote nay, even though the motion is popular, because I would rather be right than popular.
    Antonyms: aye, yea
  2. A person who voted against.
    The vote is 4 in favor and 20 opposed; the nays have it.
  3. (archaic) A denial; a refusal.[1]

Verb[edit]

nay (third-person singular simple present nays, present participle naying, simple past and past participle nayed)

  1. (obsolete) To refuse.

Adjective[edit]

nay (not comparable)

  1. (obsolete) Nary. (Can we add an example for this sense?)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Robert E. Lewis, Sherman M. Kuhn (1978) Middle English Dictionary[1], University of Michigan Press

Anagrams[edit]


Ainu[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

nay (Kana spelling ナィ)

  1. swamp.
  2. small river.

Trivia[edit]

The ainu word -nay is frequently seen in names of places in Hokkaido and Northeast Japan, such as Wakkanai, Shizunai, etc.


Tagalog[edit]

Noun[edit]

nay

  1. abbreviation of nanay, the informal form of ina

Tocharian B[edit]

Noun[edit]

nay

  1. politics, political affairs, governance

Vietnamese[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Cognate with này.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

nay (𠉞, 𫢩, 𬁉)

  1. (of a day or time of day) that is today, or happening today
    sáng/trưa/chiều/tối/đêm naythis morning/forenoon/afternoon/evening/night
    bữa/hôm nay
    today
    Sáng nay ăn sáng chưa?
    Have you had breakfast this morning?

Noun[edit]

nay

  1. (usually literally) now, the present, as opposed to xưa (long ago; the past) and mai (later in the future)
    Nay không lo làm thì mai không có ăn đâu.
    If you don't work today, you won't be able to afford to eat tomorrow.
    Xưa cả làng sợ họ nhà nó lắm. Nay chẳng ai sợ cái cóc khô gì cả.
    The whole village used to fear their family. These days, though, nobody fears no damn thing.

Derived terms[edit]

Derived terms

Related terms[edit]