Word of the Day : February 5, 2020

ancillary

play
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 rare word that means "an aid to achieving or mastering something difficult." That word derives from Latin, in which it means "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 of Beatrice's job at the movie theater is the ability to catch an early glimpse of new releases.

"Ohio's medical marijuana industry has spawned dozens of growers, dispensaries and processors, and while those businesses receive the most attention, an entire industry of ancillary companies has also sprung up." — Patrick Cooley, The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, 2 Jan. 2020



Name That Synonym

Fill in the blanks to complete a synonym of ancillary: c _ l _ _ t _ r _ _.

VIEW THE ANSWER

Video

play alt-5e39defb61f2c

'Ancillary' — Video Word of the Day 2/5/2020

adj. - subordinate, auxiliary, or supplementary


Podcast


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!