Meaning of AUXILIARY in English

I. (ˈ)ȯg|zilyərē, əgˈz-, ÷-l(ə)r-, -ri sometimes -k|s- or -kˈs- or -lēˌer- adjective

Etymology: Latin auxiliarius, from auxilium help (akin to Latin augēre to increase) + -arius -ary — more at eke


a. : offering or providing help, assistance, or support especially by interaction

neither philosophy nor science has ever been more closely auxiliary to literature than at the moment — Wylie Sypher

b. : functioning in a subsidiary capacity

an auxiliary branch of the state university

2. of a verb : accompanying a nonfinite verb form that expresses the main verbal meaning of its clause, expressing typically such things as person, number, mood, and tense, and finite in form unless accompanied by another auxiliary verb, in which case only one is finite (as be, have, do, will, can, in such expressions as “we were standing there”, “I move the nominations be closed”, “he has been informed”, “where do they live?”, “he will write”, “I can swim”, German haben, sein, werden, dürfen, or French avoir, être, pouvoir, devoir, in similar expressions)

3. : augmenting or available to augment a basic power, potential, or ability: as

a. : supplementary

with auxiliary instruments the new telescope has more power

b. : reserve

the auxiliary police were called to the disaster area

auxiliary power plant

4. of a boat : equipped with an inboard engine to supplement the motive power of sails

an auxiliary sloop

II. noun

( -es )

1. : one that helps : one that functions or serves in a supplementary often subordinate position


a. : an allied or foreign armed force in the service of a nation at war — usually used in plural

b. : a member of such a force

3. or auxiliary bishop : a titular bishop in the Roman Catholic Church who assists the ordinary of a diocese


a. : an auxiliary engine (as on a sailboat)

b. : an auxiliary boat (as a tanker, tender, or supply ship) — see naval auxiliary

c. : a sailboat with an auxiliary engine

5. : a member of an auxiliary group (as of police or firemen)

6. : assistant 3

7. : an auxiliary verb

8. : auxiliary inflection


a. : an organization that is adjunct to one having a restricted membership ; especially : an organization for wives and women relatives of such members

the American Legion Auxiliary

Women's Auxiliary of the State Medical Society

b. : an organization often of women that assists especially by donations or volunteer services the work of a church, hospital, or charitable institution

the Lutheran Home Auxiliary

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.