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

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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 Construction crews installed 272 piles, each drilled by an auger in a continuous drive and some as deep as 120 feet, to ensure the building can withstand earthquakes. Connor Sanders, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 June 2021 Masticating juicer: This type of juicer uses an auger to grind the produce and squeezes it through a stainless-steel screen. Katy Severson,, 10 Apr. 2021 Its key feature is a device made of blades called an auger that rotates poultry into a 10-foot-deep tank of cold water when the production line is running. NBC News, 8 May 2021 From here, that looks like an ideal setup; let the Capitals go into the Trotz auger., 5 May 2021 This was my first time meeting or attempting to operate an auger. Alli Harvey, Anchorage Daily News, 24 Apr. 2021 Other ways to check the thickness include an auger, drill and a tape measure. Peter Warren, Star Tribune, 12 Mar. 2021 This time last year, my husband and I got into a fight over an auger. Alli Harvey, Anchorage Daily News, 24 Apr. 2021 Other ways to check the thickness include an auger, drill and a tape measure. Peter Warren, Star Tribune, 12 Mar. 2021

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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Learn More about auger

Time Traveler for auger

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for auger

Last Updated

9 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Auger.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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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 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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