au·​ger | \ˈȯ-gər \

Definition of auger 

: any of various tools or devices with a helical shaft or part that are used for boring holes (as in wood, soil, or ice) or moving loose material (such as snow)

Illustration of auger

Illustration of auger

auger: 1, 2 screw, 3 tapering pod

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Did You Know?

The tool called an auger has nothing to do with people’s navels, but the words auger and navel are related. This tool was first used to bore a hole for the axle in the nave, or hub, of a wheel. Such a nave was called nafu in Old English. Nafu is related to the word nafela, which became our word navel. The Old English ancestor of auger was nafogar, which was made up of nafu and gar, meaning “spear.” By Middle English nafogar had lost a syllable and shrunk to nauger. Since a nauger sounds like an auger, people began to write an auger, and our modern spelling of the word was born.

Examples of auger in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Poured into a bin attached to the side of the grill, these pellets are fed into the burn box via a turning auger. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, "S.A.’s money’s no object, high-end outdoor kitchens," 2 July 2018 Avid anglers move around, drill multiple holes in the ice with lightweight augers, and use pull-behind shacks. Brendan Leonard, Outside Online, "20 Things That Take Longer Than the Nose Ascent," 18 June 2018 Just like a drill bit, the auger's diameter determines the width of the hole. C.j. Chivers, Popular Mechanics, "How to Get Started in Ice Fishing," 8 Nov. 2017 Follow the instructions carefully on your drain auger before using it. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "How to Unclog a Sink," 12 Jan. 2018 During the walk around the woods, children and adults were offered the opportunity to get hands-on and drill into bark using an auger — a low-tech tool used to bore holes in maple trees. Omar Abdel-baqui, Detroit Free Press, "Photos: Maple Syrup Days--get your sticky sap before it's sour," 17 Mar. 2018 Auger-drive motor: Powers the auger that turns ice out of the bucket, forcingit down the dispenser chute. 11. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "This Is What a Refrigerator Looks Like When You Take It Apart," 2 Mar. 2015 The wilderness designation precludes the use of any sort of power equipment, like power ice augers, chain saws, snowmachines or airplanes. Steve Meyer, Anchorage Daily News, "Solitude, big rainbows are the reward for trekking to Kenai refuge’s wilderness lakes," 9 Jan. 2018 Dale took to the ice dressed in his unique drilling attire and with a power auger successfully managed to break the ice. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Local firm’s “Subea Shuttle” aims to slice offshore drilling costs," 20 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'auger.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of auger

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for auger

Middle English, alteration (resulting from false division of a nauger) of nauger, from Old English nafogār; akin to Old High German nabugēr auger, Old English nafu nave, gār spear — more at nave, gore

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Time Traveler for auger

The first known use of auger was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for auger



English Language Learners Definition of auger

: a sharp tool that is used chiefly for making holes


au·​ger | \ˈȯ-gər \

Kids Definition of auger

: a tool used for boring holes

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More from Merriam-Webster on auger

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with auger

Spanish Central: Translation of auger

Nglish: Translation of auger for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about auger

Comments on auger

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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