(adverb) not this merely but also; not only so but; “each of us is peculiar, nay, in a sense unique”


(noun) a negative; “the nays have it”

Source: WordNet® 3.1



nay (not comparable)

(now, chiefly, archaic or regional) No. [from 12th c.]

(now, chiefly, archaic or regional) Introducing a statement, without direct negation. [from 14th c.]

(now, archaic or jocular) Or rather, or should I say; moreover (introducing a stronger and more appropriate expression than the preceding one). [from 16th c.]

Usage notes

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.



(archaic) No.


nay (plural nays)

A vote against.

A person who voted against.

(archaic) A denial; a refusal.


• (A vote against): yea


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

(obsolete) To refuse.


nay (not comparable)

(obsolete) Nary.


• AYN, Ayn, NYA, Yan, any, any%, ayn, yan

Proper noun


Abbreviation of Nayarit, a state of Mexico.


• AYN, Ayn, NYA, Yan, any, any%, ayn, yan

Proper noun

Nay (plural Nays)

A surname.


• According to the 2010 United States Census, Nay is the 6949th most common surname in the United States, belonging to 4826 individuals. Nay is most common among White (80.11%) individuals.


• AYN, Ayn, NYA, Yan, any, any%, ayn, yan

Source: Wiktionary

Nay, adv. Etym: [Icel. nei; akin to E. no. See No, adv.]

1. No; -- a negative answer to a question asked, or a request made, now superseded by no. See Yes. And eke when I say "ye," ne say not "nay." Chaucer. I tell you nay; but except ye repent, ye shall all likewisr perish. Luke xiii. 3. And now do they thrust us out privily nay, verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out. Acts xvi. 37. He that will not when he may, When he would he shall have nay. Old Prov.

Note: Before the time of Henry VIII. nay was used to answer simple questions, and no was used when the form of the question involved a negative expression; nay was the simple form, no the emphatic. Skeat.

2. Not this merely, but also; not only so, but; -- used to mark the addition or substitution of a more explicit or more emphatic phrase.

Note: Nay in this sense may be interchanged with yea. "Were he my brother, nay, my kingdom's heir." Shak.

Nay, n.; pl. Nays (.

1. Denial; refusal.

2. a negative vote; one who votes in the negative. It is no nay, there is no denying it. [Obs.] haucer.

Nay, v. t. & i.

Definition: To refuse. [Obs.] Holinshed.

Source: Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary 1913 Edition


Word of the Day

21 September 2023


(adverb) so as to shock the feelings; “One day, she lost her temper, completely, suddenly and, even to herself, shockingly”; “Suddenly, shockingly, the clergyman’s son was a desperado.”

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