aisle

[ahyl]
noun
1.
a walkway between or along sections of seats in a theater, classroom, or the like.
2.
Architecture.
a.
a longitudinal division of an interior area, as in a church, separated from the main area by an arcade or the like.
b.
any of the longitudinal divisions of a church or the like.
Idioms
3.
in the aisles, (of an audience) convulsed with laughter.

Origin:
1350–1400; alteration (with ai < French aile wing) of earlier isle (with s from isle), ile; replacing Middle English ele < Middle French < Latin āla wing, cognate with axle. See ala

aisled, adjective
unaisled, adjective

aisle, I'll, isle.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
aisle (aɪl)
 
n
1.  a passageway separating seating areas in a theatre, church, etc; gangway
2.  a lateral division in a church flanking the nave or chancel
3.  informal rolling in the aisles (of an audience) overcome with laughter
 
[C14 ele (later aile, aisle, through confusion with isle (island)), via Old French from Latin āla wing]
 
aisled
 
adj
 
'aisleless
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

aisle
late 14c., ele, from O.Fr. ele "wing" (of a church), from L. ala, related to axilla "wing, upper arm, armpit," from PIE *aks- "axis" (see axis), via a suffixed form *aks-la-. The root meaning in "turning" connects it with axle and axis. Confused 15c. with unrelated ile "island"
(perhaps from notion of a "detached" part of a church), and so it took an -s- when isle did, c.1700; by 1750 it had acquired an a-, on the model of French cognate aile. The word also was confused with alley, which gave it the sense of "passage between rows of pews or seats" (1731), which was then extended to railway cars, theaters, etc.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

aisle

portion of a church or basilica that parallels or encircles the major sections of the structure, such as the nave, choir, or apse (aisles around the apse are usually called ambulatories). The aisle is often set off by columns or by an arcade.

Learn more about aisle with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
In earlier days, campers were built with center-rear doors and center aisles.
Several people wondered why I didn't have my brother walk me down the aisle.
It snaked along a main aisle and continued around the corner.
Stockley recalled, most of his first-year classes were so full he had to sit in
  the aisle.
Images for aisle
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