Definition of auxiliary in English:

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Pronunciation: /ôɡˈzilyərē/
Pronunciation: /ôɡˈzil(ə)rē/


1Providing supplementary or additional help and support: auxiliary airport staff the ship has an auxiliary power source
More example sentences
  • A team of 28 dedicated nurses and auxiliary staff are expected to lose their jobs following the shock announcement of the closure of a key Birch Hill Hospital ward.
  • I must say that all the staff on the ward - doctors, sisters, auxiliary nurses, clerical staff and cleaning operatives - are all brilliant.
  • Why is he not listening to the consultants, doctors, nurses and auxiliary staff who work at the hospital?
additional, supplementary, supplemental, extra, spare, reserve, backup, emergency, fallback, other
ancillary, assistant, support
1.1(Of troops) engaged in the service of a nation at war but not part of the regular army, and often of foreign origin.
Example sentences
  • The military auxiliary corps of Filipinos loyal to the United States grew to 15,000.
  • A portion of military specialists have even conceived an opinion that the Ground Forces have outlived their usefulness and will only play the role of auxiliary troops in future wars.
  • On the whole, twelve member states of the North Atlantic Alliance have allowed their women to serve in auxiliary troops.
1.2(Of a sailing vessel) equipped with a supplementary engine.
Example sentences
  • Although the British auxiliary ship could not keep up with the smugglers' speedboat, the helicopter was able to keep up the pursuit.
  • The nature of fishery protection work means ships tend to operate independently, so every six months two join an auxiliary ship for a ‘squad exercise’ to re-learn the art of operating in a Naval group.
  • There were no lifejackets, raft or even an auxiliary boat for diver pick-up.

noun (plural auxiliaries)

1A person or thing providing supplementary or additional help and support: a nursing auxiliary there are two main fuel tanks and two auxiliaries
More example sentences
  • A nursing auxiliary on ward 23 at Bradford Royal Infirmary, she joined the NHS in 1979 and is now a health care assistant in elderly care.
  • When she finally left Quarriers, aged almost 17, she eventually secured a job as a nursing auxiliary with the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow.
  • Ruth found work as a nursing auxiliary at the Victoria Hospital, in Okus Road, and later at BHS, in the town centre.
assistant, helper, ancillary
1.1North American A group of volunteers giving supplementary support to an organization or institution: members of the Volunteer Fire Department’s women’s auxiliary
More example sentences
  • In addition, it tends to slight the tremendous growth of auxiliaries and parallel organizations.
  • In order to launch the WMU and to assure its survival as an auxiliary, the organization needed a strong, tenacious leader.
  • Beginning in the mid-1880s, the railroad brotherhoods' women's auxiliaries gave institutional voice to women's concerns.
1.2 (auxiliaries) Troops engaged in the service of a nation at war but not part of the regular army, and often of foreign origin.
Example sentences
  • Yet more significant than the range of foreign auxiliaries or subsidies garnered for Desert Storm was the ability of the US to secure the full cover of the United Nations for its campaign.
  • Seventeen auxiliaries were killed by the IRA during the ambush.
  • Seventeen days earlier the Taliban and their Arab and Pakistani auxiliaries had pulled out of Kabul.
1.3 Grammar An auxiliary verb.
Example sentences
  • When challenged to come up with words of another language, most people will respond with nouns and verbs rather than auxiliaries, prepositions, and the like.
  • A very common subtype (in real life, not just advice manuals) involves government of verb forms by auxiliaries.
  • He proposes that the rule about making interrogatives by placing the auxiliary before the subject is to some extent a rule of written English rather than spoken.
1.4A naval vessel with a supporting role, not armed for combat.
Example sentences
  • The Royal Fleet Auxiliary was born exactly a century ago as the Admiralty sought to make the distinction between warships and the auxiliaries which supported the Royal Navy.
  • Recognizing it to be a naval auxiliary, the Shackleton stood off.
  • The war memorials now perched high on the hills list endless warships and naval auxiliaries that went down under bombardment.


Late Middle English: from Latin auxiliarius, from auxilium 'help'.

Words that rhyme with auxiliary

ciliary, domiciliary

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: aux·il·ia·ry

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