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 Her little platform of earth, held together by her bending, turned as hard as the point of an auger. Christian Holub,, "Read an exciting excerpt from new Avatar: The Last Airbender YA novel The Shadow of Kyoshi," 5 May 2020 Be sure to read the owner’s manual before using a snow blower, and never place your hand or foot anywhere near the auger or impeller. James Jackson, Popular Mechanics, "How to Shovel Snow Without Hurting Yourself," 18 Sep. 2019 With time, however, the hassle of the gas auger lost its appeal. Field & Stream, "10 High-Tech Tools to Change the Way You Ice Fish," 18 Dec. 2019 The extra-wide holes (standard ice fishing augers are 6 or 8 inches) are sometimes necessary to land the bay's big fish. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: A giant perch and a grateful angler create a Wisconsin fish tale to remember," 28 Mar. 2020 The clincial research on favipiravir augers well for another anti-viral, Gilead Sciences Inc.’s experimental drug remdesivir, which is also undergoing clinical trials in China, Tyler Van Buren, an analyst with Piper Sandler said. Jason Gale, Fortune, "HIV pill fails while flu medication helps in early coronavirus drug trials," 19 Mar. 2020 This Snow Joe Ultra snow thrower has a four-blade steel auger that cuts a path 18 inches wide and 10 inches deep; every minute, its 15-amp motor that can toss up to 720 pounds of snow up to 25 feet away through a 180-degree adjustable chute. Billy Cadden, Popular Science, "The best snow-clearing tools," 4 Jan. 2018 Two-stage units have a horizontal auger that collects snow and pushes it to a separate, rotating impeller that ejects it. Bradley Ford, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Snowblowers for Any Size Job," 23 Oct. 2019 Blow snow up to 12 inches deep, with the two-bladed paddle auger that helps pull the blower through the snow with less effort. Bradley Ford, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Snowblowers for Any Size Job," 23 Oct. 2019

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for auger

Last Updated

17 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Auger.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for auger


How to pronounce auger (audio)

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

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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

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