Definition of auxiliary in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɔːɡˈzɪlɪəri/
Pronunciation: /ɒɡˈzɪlɪəri/


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, reserve, backup, emergency, fallback, spare, substitute, other;
subsidiary, accessory, adjunct
ancillary, assistant, support, supporting, helping, assisting, aiding
1.1(Of troops) engaged in the service of a nation at war but not part of the regular army.
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)

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.
assistant, helper, aide
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.
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.
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

Line breaks: aux|il¦iary

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