Simple Definition of ancillary
: providing something additional to a main part or function
Examples of ancillary in a sentence
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
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
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
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
The company hopes to boost its sales by releasing ancillary products.
Did You Know?
Ancillary derives from the English word ancilla, a somewhat rare word that means "an aid to achieving or mastering something difficult." That word derives from Latin, where it meant "female servant." While English "ancilla" is unlikely to be encountered except in very specialized contexts (such as philosophy or quantum computing), "ancillary" picks up on the notion of providing aid or support in a way that supplements something else. In particular, the word often describes something that is in a position of secondary importance, such as the "ancillary products in a company’s line."
Origin of ancillary
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
Medical Definition of ancillary
1 British : one who assists or is supplementary to another person
2: a supplemental diagnostic or therapeutic medical service (as magnetic resonance imaging or radiotherapy)
Legal Definition of ancillary
1 : having a subordinate, subsidiary, or secondary nature <ancillary functions> <an ancillary agreement>
2 : serving as a supplement or addition <ancillary documents>
3 : directly related <ancillary claims>
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).