1 a : offering or providing help
b : functioning in a subsidiary capacity
2 of a verb : accompanying another verb and typically expressing person, number, mood, or tense
3 a : supplementary
b : constituting a reserve
4 of a boat : equipped with sails and a supplementary inboard engine
Did You Know?
Auxiliary is 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, such as have in "They have been informed." The Latin source of auxiliary is auxilium, meaning "help."
"And meantime I had an auxiliary interest which had never paled yet, never lost its novelty for me since I had been in Arthur's kingdom: the behavior—born of nice and exact subdivisions of caste—of chance passers-by toward each other." — Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, 1889
"Graduating from big-name schools translates into better jobs and higher salaries, according to conventional wisdom. Plus, there are the auxiliary benefits that also lead to cash—powerful alumni networks, name recognition that attracts the interest of hiring managers and the right collegiate brand to catapult graduating seniors to top-notch graduate schools, which are themselves tickets to more money." — Zlati Meyer, USA Today, 18 March 2019
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Fill in the blanks to complete a synonym of auxiliary: p _ _ ip _ er _ l.VIEW THE ANSWER
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