Ayre – Definition & Meaning

Ayre is a word that is not commonly used in everyday conversation, but it does have a unique meaning and history. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of ayre, its origin, and its associations. We will also provide examples of how it can be used in a sentence.


Ayre is an archaic term that is used to describe a melody or tune. It was commonly used in the 16th and 17th centuries to refer to a song or piece of music that was meant to be sung or played on a musical instrument.
In modern usage, ayre is also used to describe a type of Scottish dance that is similar to a reel. It is typically performed by two people and involves a series of steps and turns.


The word ayre is believed to have originated from the Middle English word “air,” which means “melody” or “tune.” It was later adapted to the French word “air,” which has a similar meaning.

Meaning in different dictionaries

In the Oxford English Dictionary, ayre is defined as “a song or melody, especially one for the voice.”
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines ayre as “a song or melody, especially one in a classical style.”


Ayre is often associated with classical music and the Renaissance era. It is also associated with Scottish culture and traditional Scottish dance.


Synonyms for ayre include melody, tune, song, and piece of music.


Antonyms for ayre include noise, dissonance, and cacophony.

The same root words

The word ayre shares its root with other words such as “air,” “aerial,” and “aerate.” These words all have to do with the concept of air or atmosphere.

Example Sentences

  1. The musician played a beautiful ayre on his lute.
  2. The dancers performed a lively ayre at the Scottish festival.
  3. The composer wrote a new ayre for the choir to perform.
  4. The audience was moved by the haunting ayre sung by the soprano.
  5. The violinist played a complex ayre that showcased her technical skill.
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