auxiliary

adjective
aux·​il·​ia·​ry | \ ȯg-ˈzil-yə-rē How to pronounce auxiliary (audio) , -ˈzil-rē, -ˈzi-lə- How to pronounce auxiliary (audio) \

Definition of auxiliary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : offering or providing help
b : functioning in a subsidiary capacity an auxiliary branch of the state university
2 of a verb : accompanying another verb and typically expressing person, number, mood, or tense In "I will go," the word "will" is an auxiliary verb.
3a : supplementary a telescope with its auxiliary apparatus
b : constituting a reserve an auxiliary power plant an auxiliary police force
4 of a boat : equipped with sails and a supplementary inboard engine an auxiliary sloop

auxiliary

noun
plural auxiliaries

Definition of auxiliary (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : an auxiliary person, group, or device 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 : a sailing boat or ship equipped with a supplementary inboard engine
3 grammar : an auxiliary verb

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Synonyms & Antonyms for auxiliary

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Did You Know?

Adjective

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."

Examples of auxiliary in a Sentence

Adjective 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 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 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 a sailboat with an auxiliary engine the auditorium has an auxiliary cooling system used only on particularly sweltering days Noun 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 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
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Some features that work to relieve congestion include an auxiliary lane from Red Mountain Expressway and Interstate 65, officials say. Anna Beahm | Abeahm@al.com, al, "Alabama: Your $700 million I-59/20 bridge through Birmingham is ready," 16 Jan. 2020 The report recommends replacing the four-lane bridges with wider four-lane structures that include auxiliary acceleration-deceleration lanes, and bike and pedestrian access. Washington Post, "Army Corps recommends replacing Cape Cod Canal bridges," 4 Oct. 2019 Hause, whose full-time job is with the Dish Network, was escorted to an auxiliary locker room and got fully dressed in goalie gear. Charley Walters, Twin Cities, "Charley Walters: Playoff win likely required for new deals for Kirk Cousins, Mike Zimmer, Rick Spielman," 28 Dec. 2019 Another might take orders from the Ship From Store app, which effectively turns the store into an auxiliary warehouse that fulfills online purchases from store inventory rather than from distribution centers in the name of efficiency. Andy Newman, New York Times, "Her Job Requires 7 Apps. She Works Retail.," 26 Dec. 2019 John served as Treasurer of the St. Francis Woman's Auxiliary, becoming the first male officer of the auxiliary. courant.com, "John Pappalardo," 11 Dec. 2019 The Ishpeming Post suffered an even worse degree of decline: In 1990 the post had about 400 men, with 175 women in the auxiliary. John Carlisle, Freep.com, "Polka, bingo and fish fries are slowly saving VFW post in Michigan's U.P.," 29 Nov. 2019 Mobile food facilities include, but are not limited to, trucks, trailers, carts and bicycles and may include auxiliary equipment such as portable fryers, stoves and grills. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "After years of requests, food trucks will now be allowed in Hartland parks," 18 Nov. 2019 It will be preceded, as usual, by Juno Week (March 22-28), which includes the Saturday gala dinner -- at which the majority of awards are presented -- the songwriters circle, Juno Cup hockey, music festival, and other auxiliary events. Karen Bliss, Billboard, "Juno Awards Headed Back to Toronto in 2021 for 50th Anniversary," 24 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Very quickly, staff in other sectors—teachers, doctors, nurses, and nursing auxiliaries—together with large numbers of pensioners and students joined them in striking. Sylvain Cypel, The New York Review of Books, "Why Macron Refuses to Retire in France’s Pensions Battle," 17 Jan. 2020 Ensign is registered with authorities as a supporting organization and integrated auxiliary of the Mormon Church. Anchorage Daily News, "Mormon Church has misled members on $100 billion tax-exempt investment fund, whistleblower alleges," 17 Dec. 2019 Anyone is welcome: ink-blotters, auxiliaries of ink-blotters, and just Invite fans. Washington Post, "Style Conversational Week 1356: That’s what she said," 31 Oct. 2019 All auxiliaries in the state of Maryland will be represented. Joanne Bierly, baltimoresun.com, "Port Deposit: Two new shops opened on Main Street," 27 Sep. 2019 The auxiliary has been awarding scholarships for 46 years totaling more than $1.1 million. San Diego Union-Tribune, "North County School News, Aug. 22," 22 Aug. 2019 McCue even has an aunt, Alice, who served locally as a member of the Civil Air Patrol, an auxiliary of the United States Air Force. Emily Brindley, courant.com, "West Hartford assistant police chief retiring after 39 years," 11 July 2019 But as always, the 50-some Losers and their auxiliaries enjoyed the potluck spread plus outdoor grill; emcee Kyle Hendrickson’s somewhat abbreviated game; the presentation of awards for milestones of 50, 100, 200, etc. Washington Post, "The Style Invitational Empress on this week’s contest and results," 3 July 2019 Armed civilian groups have been an intermittent presence on the border for years, portraying themselves as auxiliaries to the Border Patrol and operating in areas where agents are not stationed. Fox News, "Civilian border militia spokesman indicted for impersonating US officer: prosecutors," 24 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'auxiliary.' 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 auxiliary

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1567, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for auxiliary

Adjective

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

Noun

derivative of auxiliary entry 1

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Time Traveler for auxiliary

Time Traveler

The first known use of auxiliary was in the 15th century

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Statistics for auxiliary

Last Updated

26 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Auxiliary.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/auxiliaries. Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for auxiliary

auxiliary

adjective
How to pronounce auxiliary (audio) How to pronounce auxiliary (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of auxiliary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

auxiliary

noun

English Language Learners Definition of auxiliary (Entry 2 of 2)

: a group that provides help or assistance

auxiliary

adjective
aux·​il·​ia·​ry | \ ȯg-ˈzi-lyə-rē How to pronounce auxiliary (audio) , -ˈzi-lə-rē, -ˈzil-rē \

Kids Definition of auxiliary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: available to provide something extra an auxiliary engine

auxiliary

noun
plural auxiliaries

Kids Definition of auxiliary (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a group that provides assistance

auxiliary

adjective
aux·​il·​ia·​ry | \ ȯg-ˈzil-yə-rē How to pronounce auxiliary (audio) , -ˈzil-(ə-)rē How to pronounce auxiliary (audio) \

Medical Definition of auxiliary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: serving to supplement or assist auxiliary springs in a dental appliance

auxiliary

noun

Medical Definition of auxiliary (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one who assists or serves another person especially in dentistry
2 : an organization that assists (as by donations or volunteer services) the work especially of a hospital

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