The word "Ayah" is generally translated as "verse" in the Holy Quran. Ayat is the plural of ayah.
Ayah literally means a 'sign' or 'token' which directs one to something important. In the Qur'an this word is used in four different senses as follows:
Sometimes it denotes a sign or indication.
In certain other places the phenomena of the universe are called the ayat (signs) of God, for the reality to which the phenomena point is hidden behind the veil of appearances.
At times the miracles performed by the Prophets are also termed ayat since they show that the Prophets were envoys of the Sovereign of the universe.
Lastly, individual units of the Book of God are also called ayat because they point to the ultimate reality, and because the substantive contents of the Book of God, its phraseology, its style, its inimitable literary excellence are clear tokens of the attributes of the Author of the Book.
The sense in which the word ayah has been used in a particular verse becomes evident from the context of its occurrence.