Word of the Day – Tuesday, November 5th



Word of the Day


Clever Clue of the Month

The Cruciverbalist


Daily Email

AIT (ayt)

A small island
Common clues:
River island; Islet; Small island; Bit of land in a river; Land in the Thames
Crossword puzzle frequency: once a year
Frequency in English language: 53359 / 86800
Video: Living on the most crowded island on earth

An ait (or eyot) is a small island in a river. It is especially used to refer to islands found on the River Thames and its tributaries in England.

Bush Ait on the River Thames

Aits are typically formed by the deposition of sediment in the water, which accumulates over a period of time. An ait is characteristically long and narrow, and may become a permanent island. However, aits may also be eroded: the resulting sediment is deposited further downstream and could result in another ait. A channel with numerous aits is called a braided channel.

The words "ait" and "eyot" are not common in modern English, although a few famous writers have used it, including J. R. R. Tolkien in his Lord of the Rings books, and Charles Dickens in Bleak House. It is also used by Thackeray in "Vanity Fair". More recently, it was used by Terry Pratchett in the first of the Discworld books, The Colour of Magic, as well as in the book The Pope's Rhinoceros by Lawrence Norfolk.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ait".