Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

ancillary

play
adjective an·cil·lary \ˈan(t)-sə-ˌler-ē, -ˌle-rē, especially British an-ˈsi-lə-rē\

Simple Definition of ancillary

  • : providing something additional to a main part or function

Full Definition of ancillary

  1. 1 :  subordinate, subsidiary <the main factory and its ancillary plants>

  2. 2 :  auxiliary, supplementary <the need for ancillary evidence>

ancillary noun

Examples of ancillary

  1. The lockout rocked the NHL, but among the ancillary benefits has been the emergence of young players who apprenticed for an additional season in the minors … —Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated, 21 Nov. 2005

  2. I am in love with a man who is in love with boats. As far as ancillary loves are concerned, I understand things could be worse. Sadly, I do not love boats. —Ann Patchett, Gourmet, May 2003

  3. Traditionally museums have been built to house collections, and for ancillary functions such as storage, conservation, administration, and education. —Jayne Merkel, Wilson Quarterly, Winter 2002

  4. Paleolithic hunters and gatherers obtained an abundance of complete protein, mostly from wild game; their vegetable foods were an ancillary protein source. This pattern prevailed until agriculture transformed it, shifting the human diet away from meat and toward plant food. —S. Boyd Eaton et al., The Paleolithic Prescription, 1988

  5. The company hopes to boost its sales by releasing ancillary products.



Origin of ancillary

(see ancilla)


First Known Use: 1667

Rhymes with ancillary

actuary, adversary, airy-fairy, antiquary, apiary, arbitrary, aviary, axillary, bacillary, beriberi, bestiary, biliary, black raspberry, Bloody Mary, boysenberry, breviary, budgetary, calamari, calamary, candleberry, Canterbury, capillary, carpellary, cassowary, catenary, cautionary, cavitary, cemetery, centenary, certiorari, checkerberry, chinaberry, cometary, commentary, commissary, condottiere, coralberry, corollary, coronary, culinary, customary, dictionary, dietary, dignitary, dromedary, dysentery, elderberry, emissary, estuary, farkleberry, February, formulary, fragmentary, fritillary, functionary, funerary, honorary, huckleberry, intermarry, janissary, January, lamasery, lapidary, lectionary, legendary, legionary, lingonberry, literary, loganberry, luminary, mammillary, mandatary, maxillary, medullary, mercenary, miliary, military, millenary, milliary, millinery, missionary, momentary, monastery, mortuary, necessary, ordinary, ossuary, partridgeberry, pensionary, pigmentary, planetary, Pondicherry, prebendary, presbytery, pulmonary, quaternary, red mulberry, reliquary, rowanberry, salivary, salmonberry, salutary, sanctuary, sanguinary, sanitary, secondary, secretary, sedentary, seminary, silverberry, solitary, sour cherry, stationary, stationery, statuary, subcontrary, sublunary, sugarberry, sumptuary, syllabary, temporary, tertiary, thimbleberry, Tipperary, Tom and Jerry, topiary, tributary, tutelary, Typhoid Mary, unitary, urinary, vestiary, Virgin Mary, visionary, voluntary, vulnerary, Waterbury, whortleberry, winterberry


Learn More about ancillary


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up ancillary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

100 pounds 196.5 pounds 2.2 pounds 16.96 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ