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From Latin auxiliārius (assistant, ally), equiv. to auxiliāris (helping, aiding), from auxilium (help, aid), from augēre (to increase).



auxiliary (not comparable)

  1. Helping; giving assistance or support.
    auxiliary troops
    Synonyms: ancillary, accessory
  2. Supplementary or subsidiary.
  3. Held in reserve for exceptional circumstances.
  4. (nautical) Of a ship, having both sails and an engine.
  5. (grammar) Relating to an auxiliary verb.



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auxiliary (plural auxiliaries)

  1. A person or group that acts in an auxiliary manner.
    • 1962 September, G. Freeman Allen, “The New Look in Scotland's Northern Division—1”, in Modern Railways, page 163:
      A drive to exploit the Highlands as a winter sports area, with all the necessary auxiliaries, such as chair lifts in the Cairngorms, shows increasing promise, [...].
  2. A sailing vessel equipped with an engine.
  3. (grammar) An auxiliary verb.
    • 1988, Andrew Radford, Transformational grammar: a first course, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, page 151:
      The three traditionally recognized Non-modal Auxiliaries are the per-
      fective Auxiliary have, the progressive Auxiliary be, and the passive Auxiliary
      be. Perfective have is so-called because it marks the completion (hence, perfec-
      ) of an action; it is followed by a VP headed by a perfective -n participle, as
      (121)    The referee has [VP shown him the red card]
  4. A marching band colorguard.


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