Definition of auxiliary in English:


Line breaks: aux|il¦iary
Pronunciation: /ɔːgˈzɪlɪəri
, ɒg-/


  • 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?
  • 1.1(Of troops) engaged in the service of a nation at war but not part of the regular army.
    More 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: an auxiliary schooner
    More 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)

Back to top  
  • 1An auxiliary person or thing: 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.
  • 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 Grammar An auxiliary verb.
    More 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.
  • 1.3A naval vessel with a supporting role, not armed for combat.
    More 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'.

More definitions of auxiliary

Definition of auxiliary in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kərf
a slit made by cutting with a saw