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 If the second test is still too high, they’ll be sent to an auxiliary tent where they can be screened a third time. Richard Marini, ExpressNews.com, "Six Flags Fiesta Texas reopens with plenty of new COVID-19 precautions," 21 June 2020 Our research confirms that German policing expanded and consolidated under Hitler and worked in conjunction with other paramilitary auxiliary police officers to help implement the Nazi regime’s brutal reign of terror. Mariah Timms, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Did Adolf Hitler defund the police in Nazi Germany?," 19 June 2020 People, who park in this auxiliary lot, can bring their chairs and blankets and sit on the lawn. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here's what you should know about the pop-up drive-in movie theater that is coming to Germantown," 12 June 2020 Michigan's public universities set up housing as auxiliary units, meaning the units fund themselves. David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, "Eastern Michigan University guarantees single rooms for students who don't want a roommate," 11 June 2020 There are at least two other auxiliary rooms that can be used for additional lockers or to store and sanitize equipment between practices. David Moore, Dallas News, "Keeping lockers at least 6 feet apart will be a logistical nightmare for many NFL teams, but not for the Cowboys," 9 June 2020 Farrell was bishop in Dallas, Texas, and an auxiliary bishop of Washington D.C. before taking his current job in 2016. Brian Dakss, CBS News, "Mourners gather for George Floyd's memorial service," 4 June 2020 Both function as in-state auxiliary forces for U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force with the same basic duties. cleveland, "The Ohio National Guard -- who they are, what they do: Q&A," 3 June 2020 These auxiliary lanes will operate as right-turn lanes at the intersection. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here are the major road construction projects this summer in Germantown, Menomonee Falls and Sussex," 20 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On September 28, 1918, two hundred thousand people watched and cheered as a miles-long procession of troops, Boy Scouts, and women’s auxiliaries made its way down Broad Street. Dhruv Khullar, The New Yorker, "How the Protests Have Changed the Pandemic," 4 June 2020 But perhaps most important in fighting contagion are Germany’s phalanx of contact-tracers—part detectives, part social workers, part medical auxiliaries and part data clerks. The Economist, "The virus detectives Germany’s contact tracers try to block a second covid-19 wave," 28 May 2020 In 1944, Boilermakers Local 6, which covered Marinship and shipyards in San Francisco, had 36,000 members, including 3,000 African American members of segregated auxiliaries. Gary Kamiya, SFChronicle.com, "Marin shipyard welcomed blacks and women in WWII, but diversity ended at the gates," 3 Apr. 2020 Mercy and Comfort are part of the U.S. Navy but are classified as auxiliaries, like tankers and logistic ships, rather than warships built for combat. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "A Look at the U.S. Navy Hospital Ships Sent to Battle the Coronavirus," 18 Mar. 2020 The post auxiliary has a fish fry every Friday (weather permitting). Luann Gibbs, Cincinnati.com, "Grab a spork. 90+ fish fries to try in Cincinnati area," 20 Feb. 2020 Currently, there are about 10 auxiliaries but, according to a city ordinance, the department can have up to 15. Linda Gandee/special To Cleveland.com, cleveland, "Rocky River Citizen Police Academy prepares for 10th annual class," 2 Dec. 2019 Cars lined up around the block to pick up food and water in downtown Wilmington, N.C., at a distribution site organized by the Civil Air Patrol, the civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. WSJ, "Florence: Live Updates on the Storm," 20 Sep. 2018 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

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

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Auxiliary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/auxiliary. Accessed 2 Jul. 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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