au·​ger | \ ˈȯ-gər How to pronounce auger (audio) \

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

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 The safety lock on its trigger is also a great perk, preventing users from accidentally activating the auger. Alex Rennie, Popular Mechanics, 25 May 2022 Unlike the Traeger, which is large and relies on an elaborate system that uses an auger to move wood pellets from a side hopper into a burning chamber, mine is small and only takes a few minutes to set up. Alex Heard, Outside Online, 20 May 2020 Slow masticating machines have a methodical auger (sort of like a large, sharp corkscrew) that is best suited to working its way through leafy greens, but will take on fibrous stalks and soft and juicy fruit as well. Lauren Joseph, Bon Appétit, 17 Mar. 2022 Some people also swear by coating the auger and the chute with a nonstick spray. Kris Frieswick, WSJ, 26 Jan. 2022 People were running a massive ship auger drill bit, lengthwise, into a gigantic pressure-​treated beam without a shadow of hesitancy or stalling—incredibly impressive. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, 11 Nov. 2021 Adjust any cables and check the auger at this time, as well. Caitlin Sole, Better Homes & Gardens, 11 Nov. 2021 If the clog remains after plunging and cleaning the trap, then buy or rent a drain-cleaning tool called a hand auger (plumber's snake). Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, 10 Aug. 2021 Masticating juicers: Also known as cold press juicers, masticating juicers slowly press carrots, using an auger to grind down produce, resulting in a high yield of juice. Ana Sanchez,, 1 Apr. 2021 See More

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.

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

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auger beetle

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Last Updated

20 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Auger.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for auger


au·​ger | \ ˈȯ-gər How to pronounce auger (audio) \

Kids Definition of auger

: a tool used for boring holes

More from Merriam-Webster on auger

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


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