1. A part of a church divided laterally from the nave, transept, or choir by a row of columns.
2. A passageway between rows of seats, as in an auditorium or an airplane.
3. A passageway for inside traffic, as in a department store, warehouse, or supermarket.
[Alteration (influenced by ISLE and French aile, wing) of Middle English ele, from Old French, wing of a building, from Latin āla.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.