ain't

ain't
Etymology: contraction of are not Date: 1749 1. am not ; are not ; is not 2. have not ; has not 3. do not ; does not ; did not — used in some varieties of Black English Usage: Although widely disapproved as nonstandard and more common in the habitual speech of the less educated, ain't in senses 1 and 2 is flourishing in American English. It is used in both speech and writing to catch attention and to gain emphasis <
the wackiness of movies, once so deliciously amusing, ain't funny anymoreRichard Schickel
>
<
I am telling you—there ain't going to be any blackmail — R. M. Nixon
>
. It is used especially in journalistic prose as part of a consistently informal style <
the creative process ain't easy — Mike Royko
>
. This informal ain't is commonly distinguished from habitual ain't by its frequent occurrence in fixed constructions and phrases <
well—class it ain'tCleveland Amory
>
<
for money? say it ain't so, Jimmy! — Andy Rooney
>
<
you ain't seen nothing yet
>
<
that ain't hay
>
<
two out of three ain't bad
>
<
if it ain't broke, don't fix it
>
. In fiction ain't is used for purposes of characterization; in familiar correspondence it tends to be the mark of a warm personal friendship. It is also used for metrical reasons in popular songs <
Ain't She Sweet
>
<
It Ain't Necessarily So
>
. Our evidence shows British use to be much the same as American.

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ain’t — is a contraction originally used for “am not”, but also used for “is not”, “are not”, “has not”, or “have not” in the common vernacular. In some dialects it is also used as a contraction of “do not”, “does not”, and “did not”, as in I ain’t know… …   Wikipedia

  • ain't — 1. Ain t is one of the most controversial words in current English, arousing passions that one would never have dreamt of from such a seemingly inoffensive word. ‘Do you hear? Don t say “ain t” or “dang” or “son of a buck”…You re not a pair of… …   Modern English usage

  • ain't — [[t]eɪnt[/t]] 1) Nonstandard except in some dialects. am not; are not; is not 2) Nonstandard. have not; has not; do not; does not; did not • Etymology: 1770–80; var. of amn t (contr. of am not) by loss of m and raising with compensatory… …   From formal English to slang

  • ain't — [ānt] [early assimilation, with lengthened and raised vowel, of amn t, contr. of am not; later confused with a nt (are not), i nt (is not), ha nt (has not, have not)] contraction 1. Informal am not 2. a) is not or are not b) has not or have not:… …   English World dictionary

  • ain't — [[t]e͟ɪnt[/t]] People sometimes use ain t instead of am not , aren t , isn t , haven t , and hasn t . Some people consider this use to be non standard. [DIALECT, SPOKEN] Well, it s obvious, ain t it?... I ain t got kids, but I have to pay towards …   English dictionary

  • Ain't — A contraction for are not and am not; also used for is not. [Colloq. or illiterate speech]. See {An t}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ain't — [ eınt ] SPOKEN a way of saying am not, is not, are not, has not, or have not. Many people consider ain t to be incorrect …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • ain't — ► CONTRACTION informal 1) am not; are not; is not. 2) has not; have not. USAGE In modern English the use of ain t is non standard and should not be used in formal or written contexts, despite being widespread in many dialects and in informal… …   English terms dictionary

  • ain't — [eınt] a short form of am not , is not , are not , has not , or have not , that many people think is incorrect …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • ain't — 1706, originally a contraction of am not, and in proper use with that sense until it began to be used as a generic contraction for are not, is not, etc., in early 19c. Cockney dialect of London; popularized by representations of this in Dickens,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • ain't — (am not) is not; have not, has not …   English contemporary dictionary

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