AskDefine | Define aisles

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Plural of aisle

Extensive Definition

An aisle is, in general, a space for walking with rows of seats on either side or with rows of seats on one side and a wall on the other. Aisles can be seen in certain types of buildings such as churches, synagogues, meeting halls, parliaments and legislatures, courtrooms, theatres, and in certain types of passenger vehicles.
Aisles can also be seen in shops, warehouses, and factories, where rather than seats they have shelving to either side. In warehouses and factories aisles may consist of storage pallettes and in factories aisles may separate work areas. In health clubs, exercise equipment normally is arranged in aisles.
Aisles are distinguished from corridors, hallways, walkways, sidewalks (British pavement or footpath), trails, paths and (enclosed) "open areas".

Typical physical characteristics

Aisles have certain general physical characteristics.
  • Aisles are virtually always straight, not curved.
  • Aisles are usually fairly long. An open space with three rows of chairs to the right and three to the left generally would not be considered an "aisle".

Width of various types of aisles

  • Theatres, meeting halls, shops, etc., usually have aisles wide enough for 2-3 strangers to walk past each other without feeling uncomfortably close. In such facilities, anything that could comfortably accommodate more than 4 people side-by-side would generally be considered an "open area", rather than an "aisle".
  • Supermarket aisles rarely are wide enough for 3 people to stand side-by-side.
  • Factory work area aisles usually are wide enough for workers to comfortably sit or stand at their work area, while allowing safe and efficient movement of persons, equipment and/or materials.
  • Vehicle aisles usually are quite narrow--wide enough for a large person to carry a suitcase in each hand but not wide enough for two people to pass side-by-side without touching. Usually, even without luggage one person must turn sideways in order for the other one to pass.
  • Warehouse aisles normally are at least 8-10 feet (2.4-3 meters) wide, to allow use of mechanical loading equipment.
Note that spaces between buildings, e.g., rows of storage sheds, would not be considered "aisles", even if the same amount of separation would be considered an aisle in a warehouse.


Supermarkets and retail stores

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