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1

auxiliary

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adjective aux·il·ia·ry \ȯg-ˈzil-yə-rē, -ˈzil-rē, -ˈzi-lə-\

Simple Definition of auxiliary

  • : available to provide extra help, power, etc., when it is needed

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of auxiliary

  1. 1 a :  offering or providing help b :  functioning in a subsidiary capacity <an auxiliary branch of the state university>

  2. 2 of a verb :  accompanying another verb and typically expressing person, number, mood, or tense

  3. 3 a :  supplementary b :  constituting a reserve <an auxiliary power plant>

  4. 4 :  equipped with sails and a supplementary inboard engine <an auxiliary sloop>

Examples of auxiliary in a sentence

  1. Travelers have also been griping about a lack of air-conditioning while planes are on the tarmac—even after delays stretch for hours. Airlines blame the problem on a breakdown of a plane's auxiliary power unit. —Darren Everson, Wall Street Journal, 8 Aug. 2007

  2. However, on March 1, 1896, Italian forces underwent a stunning defeat at Adwa, where they fought against the warriors of the Abyssinian emperor, Menelik. Some five thousand Italian troops and two thousand native auxiliary troops had been killed or captured, and the colony had been lost. —Mirella Tenderini et al., The Duke of the Abruzzi, 1997

  3. The rotund 6'1", 235-pound object of their affections hasn't played a day of major league baseball, he dresses in the auxiliary locker room, and he isn't even listed on Boston's 40-man roster. But after a resplendent summer last year at Triple A Pawtucket and a winter of panegyrics from a giddy Boston press, first baseman Maurice Samuel (Mo) Vaughn, 23, has arrived as a “real” rookie who everyone in Red Sox-land hopes is the real thing. —Nicholas Dawidoff, Sports Illustrated, 1 Apr. 1991

  4. a sailboat with an auxiliary engine

  5. <the auditorium has an auxiliary cooling system used only on particularly sweltering days>



Did You Know?

Auxiliary can be used in a wide range of capacities in English to describe a person or thing that assists another. A fire department may bring in auxiliary units, for example, to battle a tough blaze, or a sailboat may be equipped with auxiliary engines to supply propulsion when the wind disappears. In grammar, an auxiliary verb assists another (main) verb to express person, number, mood, or tense, as have in "They have been informed." The Latin source of auxiliary is auxilium, meaning "help."

Origin and Etymology of auxiliary

Latin auxiliaris, from auxilium help; akin to Latin augēre to increase — more at eke


First Known Use: 15th century


2

auxiliary

play
noun aux·il·ia·ry \ȯg-ˈzil-yə-rē, -ˈzil-rē, -ˈzi-lə-\

Simple Definition of auxiliary

  • : a group that provides help or assistance

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of auxiliary

plural

auxiliaries

  1. 1 a :  an auxiliary person, group, or device (see 1auxiliary); specifically :  a member of a foreign force serving a nation at war b :  a Roman Catholic titular bishop assisting a diocesan bishop and not having the right of succession —called also auxiliary bishop

  2. 2 :  a sailing boat or ship equipped with a supplementary inboard engine

  3. 3 :  an auxiliary verb

Examples of auxiliary in a sentence

  1. In 1944 Forrestal also began a program of sending black enlisted men to serve in a limited number of fleet auxiliaries. These were still not warships, but they were seagoing vessels and closer to the fighting Navy than the small harbor-defense craft and harbor auxiliaries that had initially been open to black crews. —The Golden Thirteen, 1993

  2. Roman cavalry was poorly developed; they relied on wings, called alae, of horsemen supplied by their auxiliaries. The favorite Roman battle formation was of a triple line of cohorts with alae sweeping the flanks. —Kenneth P. Czech, MHQ : The Quarterly Journal of Military History, Autumn 1992



Origin and Etymology of auxiliary

(see 1auxiliary)


First Known Use: 1567



AUXILIARY Defined for Kids

1

auxiliary

play
adjective aux·il·ia·ry \ȯg-ˈzi-lyə-rē, -ˈzi-lə-rē, -ˈzil-rē\

Definition of auxiliary for Students

  1. :  available to provide something extra <an auxiliary engine>




2

auxiliary

play
noun aux·il·ia·ry

Definition of auxiliary for Students

plural

auxiliaries

  1. 1 :  a group that provides assistance

  2. 2 :  helping verb




Medical Dictionary

1

auxiliary

play play
adjective aux·il·ia·ry \ȯg-ˈzil-yə-rē, -ˈzil-(ə-)rē\

Medical Definition of auxiliary

  1. :  serving to supplement or assist <auxiliary springs in a dental appliance>




2

auxiliary

noun aux·il·ia·ry

Medical Definition of auxiliary

  1. 1:  one who assists or serves another person especially in dentistry

  2. 2:  an organization that assists (as by donations or volunteer services) the work especially of a hospital





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