9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[awg-zil-yuh-ree, -zil-uh-] /ɔgˈzɪl yə ri, -ˈzɪl ə-/
additional; supplementary; reserve:
an auxiliary police force.
used as a substitute or reserve in case of need:
The hospital has an auxiliary power system in case of a blackout.
(of a boat) having an engine that can be used to supplement the sails:
an auxiliary yawl.
giving support; serving as an aid; helpful:
The mind and emotions are auxiliary to each other. Passion is auxiliary to art.
noun, plural auxiliaries.
a person or thing that gives aid of any kind; helper.
an organization allied with, but subsidiary to, a main body of restricted membership, especially one composed of members' relatives:
The men's club and the ladies' auxiliary were merged into one organization.
auxiliaries, foreign troops in the service of a nation at war.
Navy. a naval vessel designed for other than combat purposes, as a tug, supply ship, or transport.
Nautical. a sailing vessel carrying an auxiliary propulsion engine or engines.
Origin of auxiliary
1595-1605; < Latin auxiliārius assisting, aiding, helping, equivalent to auxili(um) aid, help (aux(us) increased, augmented (past participle of augēre: aug- increase + -sus, variant of -tus past participle suffix) + -ilium noun suffix) + -ārius -ary
2. backup, ancillary, secondary. 5. aide, ally, assistant; help. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for auxiliary
  • But it is perfectly possible to violate an auxiliary rule -- like fouling in basketball -- and still play the game.
  • There are just certain situations where the specialist really isn't a great auxiliary tool, but rather a liability.
  • Once a hospital cleaner, she is now a nursing auxiliary and hopes to study social work in Cuba.
  • It is also an auxiliary used to make past perfect tenses of verbs: I had.
  • For major equipment, you may want to purchase auxiliary generators.
  • Ought is an auxiliary verb that usually takes to with its accompanying verb: We ought to go.
  • They differ subtly in meaning from the auxiliary verb must.
  • This week British forces agreed to hand over control to a force of “auxiliary police” of dubious loyalty.
  • Some gliders also have small electric motors as auxiliary propulsion systems.
  • When planes pull into the gate, electricity is provided via the terminal rather than from the plane's auxiliary power unit.
British Dictionary definitions for auxiliary


/ɔːɡˈzɪljərɪ; -ˈzɪlə-/
secondary or supplementary
(nautical) (of a sailing vessel) having an engine: an auxiliary sloop
noun (pl) -ries
a person or thing that supports or supplements; subordinate or assistant
  1. a sailing vessel with an engine
  2. the engine of such a vessel
(navy) a vessel such as a tug, hospital ship, etc, not used for combat
Word Origin
C17: from Latin auxiliārius bringing aid, from auxilium help, from augēre to increase, enlarge, strengthen
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for auxiliary

c.1600, from Latin auxiliaris "helpful," from auxilium "aid, help, support," related to auctus, past participle of augere "to increase" (see augment).


"foreign troops in service of a nation at war," c.1600, from auxiliary (adj.). Related: Auxiliaries.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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auxiliary in Medicine

auxiliary aux·il·ia·ry (ôg-zĭl'yə-rē, -zĭl'ə-rē)

  1. Functioning in an augmenting capacity; supplementary.

  2. Functioning as a subordinate; secondary.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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