1 a : offering or providing help
b : functioning in a subsidiary capacity
2 : constituting a reserve : supplementary
Did You Know?
"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."
"I began working in opera 65 years ago, coaching singers, and then served in various auxiliary functions before I began conducting." (Erich Leinsdorf, The New York Times Book Review, January 13, 1991)
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