Nay (?), adv. [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No; -- a negative answer to a question asked, or a request made, now superseded by no.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 likewise 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.

⇒ 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.

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

Shak.

 

© Webster 1913.


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.

 

© Webster 1913.


Nay, v. t. & i.

To refuse.

[Obs.]

Holinshed.

 

© Webster 1913.

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