Ajax (programming) @ Wikipedia:

Ajax (shorthand for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) is a group of interrelated web development techniques used on the client-side to create interactive web applications.

Ajax is like DHTML: not a technology in itself, but a group of technologies. And like DHTML, Ajax uses JavaScript to modify the HTML and CSS in a page.

Central to Ajax is the use of JavaScript to make HTTP requests, retrieving data from web services without requiring full page reload. Data retrieved via Ajax requests are then displayed in the existing page, using JavaScript to modify the Document Object Model (“dom”).

Despite the name, the use of XML is not actually required, nor do the requests need to be asynchronous.