Catholic Dictionary




An architectural division of a church separated from the nave by rows of pillars or columns. In Gothic buildings the roof of the aisle is lower than that of the nave. Sometimes the aisles stop at the transepts, but often they are continued around the apse. Confusing ala (wing) with the French allée (alley), the word aisle is popularly used to describe the passage between rows of pews or chairs. (Etym. Latin ala, wing.)