Word of the Day : March 12, 2011

ancillary

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adjective AN-suh-lair-ee

Definition

1 : of lower or secondary class or rank : subordinate, subsidiary

2 : providing additional help or support : auxiliary, supplementary

Did You Know?

"Ancillary" derives from the English word "ancilla," a somewhat rare word that means "an aid to achieving or mastering something difficult." That word derives from Latin, where it meant "female servant." While English "ancilla" is unlikely to be encountered except in very specialized contexts (such as philosophy or quantum computing), "ancillary" picks up on the notion of providing aid or support in a way that supplements something else. In particular, the word often describes something that is in a position of secondary importance, such as the “ancillary products in a company’s line.”


Examples

One ancillary benefit to Beatrice’s job at the movie theater is the ability to catch an early glimpse of all the new releases.

"The arts are not ancillary to education, they are integral. The school system has identified this [auditorium] as its number one capital priority. Greenwich's kids deserve it. The town should build it." -- From an editorial in the Greenwich Time (Old Greenwich, Connecticut), February 4, 2011



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