Definition of auxiliary in US English:



  • 1Providing supplementary or additional help and support.

    ‘auxiliary airport staff’
    ‘the ship has an auxiliary power source’
    • ‘Why is he not listening to the consultants, doctors, nurses and auxiliary staff who work at the hospital?’
    • ‘Joe's workplace has eight nurses plus several doctors and auxiliary staff on duty at any one time.’
    • ‘Born in Glen Lee Lane, Keighley, she attended Keighley Girls' Grammar School and started off as an auxiliary nurse in St John's Hospital.’
    • ‘In order to reopen the ward three auxiliary nurses, who are paid less than £13,000, and two qualified nurses, who earn up to £22,000, are needed.’
    • ‘But the 62-year-old former auxiliary nurse took off her seatbelt and jumped from her Ford Puma in St Peter's Way, leaving Ali inside with the engine running.’
    • ‘The nursery nurses and auxiliary staff spend a lot of one-to-one time with him.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The 54-year-old auxiliary nurse at Rochdale Infirmary children's ward is pleased with their response to her ‘Pay to Breathe’ campaign.’
    • ‘They are being trained as auxiliary nurses and many are being adopted as grandmothers in families.’
    • ‘I'm currently working part time as an auxiliary nurse in learning disabilities at Dewsbury Hospital where I can even work night shifts if required.’
    • ‘I must say that all the staff on the ward - doctors, sisters, auxiliary nurses, clerical staff and cleaning operatives - are all brilliant.’
    • ‘He went on to stress that nurses and auxiliary staff would not lose their jobs as a result of the closure.’
    • ‘Nurses and auxiliary staff joined the strike this week.’
    • ‘In addition to auxiliary training provided to all agents, call centres in the region are also well equipped with the latest technology.’
    • ‘To date, a quarter of the 1268 people with severe acute respiratory syndrome in Hong Kong are nurses, doctors, radiographers, and auxiliary staff.’
    • ‘I love working with people and while I enjoyed my time as an auxiliary nurse, I was keen to develop my skills further.’
    • ‘The auxiliary nurse said: ‘I was all in a daze but I did as he said and went outside.’’
    • ‘An auxiliary nurse in the hospital's children's unit is the organiser of today's 10-mile walk around Coate Water.’
    • ‘They include administrative and support staff, instructional officers responsible for teaching inmates and even some cleaners and auxiliary staff.’
    • ‘Several people would have to be included, such as doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, and auxiliary staff.’
    additional, supplementary, supplemental, extra, reserve, backup, emergency, fallback, spare, substitute, other
    ancillary, assistant, support, supporting, helping, assisting, aiding
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of troops) engaged in the service of a nation at war but not part of the regular army, and often of foreign origin.
      • ‘An auxiliary military force, called Peta (Pembela Tanah Air, or Defenders of the Homeland), some 35,000 strong by 1944, was raised by the Japanese.’
      • ‘The military auxiliary corps of Filipinos loyal to the United States grew to 15,000.’
      • ‘Even so it never envisaged itself as much more than an auxiliary force to the armies of Prussia and Austria.’
      • ‘The use of natives as auxiliary troops had long been a practice of the older colonial powers.’
      • ‘On the whole, twelve member states of the North Atlantic Alliance have allowed their women to serve in auxiliary troops.’
      • ‘Machiavelli laments the decline of the Italian city-states and attributes it to the use of mercenary and auxiliary armies instead of native forces.’
      • ‘The Japanese trained and armed thousands of South-East Asians to support them as auxiliary troops or as armies fighting for independence from the western colonizers.’
      • ‘The armed forces number 18,500 men divided into an infantry, a navy, an air force, paramilitary forces, border guards, and auxiliary troops of the Interior Ministry.’
      • ‘The entire complex was built by the three legions in Britain, though garrisoned by the more mobile auxiliary troops.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His opposite number was Arminius, a Germanic chieftain who had served in the Roman army as commander of auxiliary forces and was, therefore, a Roman citizen.’
      • ‘Forts were constructed to garrison auxiliary troops, and to act as supply bases; in time these attracted civilian settlements.’
      • ‘The Romans always recognized the uselessness of mercenary and auxiliary troops.’
      • ‘Each side fielded armies that were very similar in tactics, organization, and equipment, and both used African and Gallic auxiliary troops.’
      • ‘Some Puerto Ricans participated as auxiliary troops in the U.S. invasion of 1898.’
      • ‘There were no allied or auxiliary troops to be concerned about.’
      • ‘In May 1940, he too was interned and told to enlist either in the Foreign Legion or in an auxiliary corps of the French army.’
      • ‘Another 350,000 either enlisted in the Army or Navy or joined a military auxiliary service.’
      • ‘The force assembled to sail to Britain in AD 43 comprised four legions and about the same number of auxiliary troops, around 40,000 men in all.’
      • ‘The princes of Italy have lost their kingdoms due to their reliance upon mercenary or auxiliary armies.’
    2. 1.2 (of a sailing vessel) equipped with a supplementary engine.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Coast Guard began racial integration on shipboard, and the navy followed on some fleet auxiliary ships.’
      • ‘Cabin motorboats were used the most often at 31.5 days; open motorboats were used 29 days and auxiliary sailboats were used 25 days.’
      • ‘The final ship of the Fleet's four new auxiliary landing ships will take to the water in a couple of the months as the revolution in the RN's amphibious forces reaches its final stages.’
      • ‘They are planned to operate with the new helicopter carrier HMS Ocean and four planned new Bay class auxiliary landing ships.’
      • ‘The first wreck is believed to be a coastal trader or auxiliary minesweeper, while the second may be a fishing vessel or trawler that sunk in the area in 1981.’
      • ‘The aircraft carrier group could be comprised of up to six to eight surface warships, two to three attack nuclear submarines, and one or two auxiliary vessels.’
      • ‘Although the British auxiliary ship could not keep up with the smugglers' speedboat, the helicopter was able to keep up the pursuit.’
      • ‘There were no lifejackets, raft or even an auxiliary boat for diver pick-up.’
      • ‘Other attacks in the first wave were on ‘Battleship Row’, cruisers and other auxiliary ships.’
      • ‘The Admiralty sent four ships (two sailing ships and two steam auxiliary ships), accompanied by one sailing ship to serve as a base, supply depot, and refuge in case of trouble.’
      • ‘Yet, in 1914 the Navy appropriated sixty-nine merchant ships for use as auxiliary cruisers.’
      • ‘Each such group is comprised of one or two Tarawa or Wasp general purpose amphibious assault ships, NAS Whidbey Island, as well as auxiliary vessels.’


  • 1A person or thing providing supplementary or additional help and support.

    ‘a nursing auxiliary’
    ‘there are two main fuel tanks and two auxiliaries’
    • ‘Welfare is no longer an auxiliary to the ongoing economic life of the people but has become almost their total economic existence.’
    • ‘The guardians and auxiliaries, and all others equally with them, must be compelled or induced to do their own work in the best way.’
    • ‘As an auxiliary of the hotel itself, the bar is not obliged to pack itself with human garbage just to pay the rent.’
    • ‘He said closing the units would save £318,000, of which £108.391 would be to reduce staffing costs of 11.5 full-time midwives and auxiliaries.’
    • ‘Every communication channel should be considered an auxiliary to, or an amplification of, our intelligence.’
    • ‘She works as a nursing auxiliary at the Gloucester Royal Hospital.’
    • ‘I've also worked as a counter assistant at Boots and as an auxiliary in a care home.’
    • ‘Another insult is the plan to create 5,000 posts for ‘pedagogical assistants’ or auxiliaries.’
    • ‘He alleges that Gloria, a nursing auxiliary, administered a drug overdose.’
    • ‘The unit is led by eight midwives, three of them are full-time, and there are five auxiliaries.’
    • ‘Children who gain one-to-one assistance from a teaching auxiliary are having that withdrawn as head teachers were forced last week to lay off valued staff.’
    • ‘An auxiliary American to help with pronunciation would be a good thing, but only as an auxiliary.’
    • ‘Ruth found work as a nursing auxiliary at the Victoria Hospital, in Okus Road, and later at BHS, in the town centre.’
    • ‘Also, vacancies for midwives and auxiliaries are not being filled until a final decision is made on the future of the two units, due on May 25.’
    • ‘She told the Daily News that an auxiliary told her the massacre ‘was a reprisal for what had occurred in the morning.’’
    • ‘When she finally left Quarriers, aged almost 17, she eventually secured a job as a nursing auxiliary with the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow.’
    • ‘The Chippenham unit employs a total of 21 midwives and auxiliaries, some of whom work part time.’
    • ‘The National Hospital of Sri Lanka in Colombo has already imposed limits on overtime for drivers, attendants, labourers, sanitary workers and other health auxiliaries.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Qualified nurses can earn up to £22,015 but the maximum wage for auxiliaries is only £12, 615-a tiny fraction of even the cheapest flat in the area.’
    assistant, helper, aide
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    1. 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’
      • ‘The women's auxiliary also organised protests and demonstrations, and went round other unions to raise solidarity donations.’
      • ‘Beginning in the mid-1880s, the railroad brotherhoods' women's auxiliaries gave institutional voice to women's concerns.’
      • ‘People who missed the service can support the project through mailing donations to the auxiliary.’
      • ‘Some of the ladies from the auxiliary were up the other day, putting little flags on the graves.’
      • ‘She said the celebrations also mark 100 years of the auxiliary.’
      • ‘Each of the ladies has been with the auxiliary for 15 years or more, and the current president said the awards were a way of recognising their vital input.’
      • ‘In order to launch the WMU and to assure its survival as an auxiliary, the organization needed a strong, tenacious leader.’
      • ‘For many, the waffles baked by the ladies auxiliary on the old-fashioned heart-shaped iron, topped with cream sauce, proved irresistible.’
      • ‘She was an active community volunteer with hospital auxiliaries for 40 years in Sydney and later in Lunenburg, as well as with other organizations.’
      • ‘The president was presented with a special award for the auxiliary's fundraising work over the last 12 months.’
      • ‘Her many years in the auxiliary included being vice-president.’
      • ‘Creating networks of their own, female students established clubs and auxiliaries, like the OWLs at Gallaudet College, Camp Fire Girls at state schools, and the NFSD auxiliary club.’
      • ‘During the Great War the WPV / WPS had worked in collaboration with the authorities and with the Ministry of Munitions, being one of many independently - run women's auxiliaries in wartime.’
      • ‘In addition, it tends to slight the tremendous growth of auxiliaries and parallel organizations.’
      • ‘The Club includes not only the people in the front office who operate the team but also, in a kind of women's auxiliary, many of the writers and broadcasters who follow the game and purport to explain it.’
      • ‘She's also president of the center's volunteer auxiliary, although that's more or less by default.’
      • ‘The ladies auxiliary will have food available.’
      • ‘What a great job hospital auxiliaries do to support our health system.’
      • ‘The Ladies auxiliary will also be selling merchandise at the Village Barrow, on the corner of Magellan and Molesworth Streets, from 9 am to 2 pm.’
      • ‘This latest donation means the auxiliary has raised almost $180,000 to help look after sick people.’
      supplement, addition, accompaniment, complement, companion, extra, add-on, additive, accessory, appurtenance
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2auxiliaries Troops engaged in the service of a nation at war but not part of the regular army, and often of foreign origin.
      • ‘Many of these colonial auxiliaries had little or no education at all.’
      • ‘It was well that the Egyptian troops were strengthened by these valiant auxiliaries, for years of weary war lay before them.’
      • ‘But what is most interesting is the report that Turkish forces are now acting as American auxiliaries.’
      • ‘Armed to the teeth but short of food, they blasted their way north-east from Timbuctoo, massacring anything that moved, human or otherwise, including their own porters and auxiliaries.’
      • ‘Seventeen days earlier the Taliban and their Arab and Pakistani auxiliaries had pulled out of Kabul.’
      • ‘Even local recreational sailors can experience better safety from the Coast Guard auxiliaries.’
      • ‘It was built quite speedily of local materials, the eastern portion towards Newcastle being built of stone, while the part on the Cumbrian side, turf and earth by auxiliaries and locals who co-operated with the Romans for payment.’
      • ‘On December 9,1920, O'Malley was captured by Innistogue auxiliaries and trussed with ropes.’
      • ‘In AD 9, the Roman general Publius Quintilius Varus lost three legions and six supporting regiments of auxiliaries.’
      • ‘There is a scene on Trajan's column where an auxiliary is having his wounded thigh dressed.’
      • ‘He saw a group of about 40 IRA auxiliaries drilling on the landing of the Rossville Flats before the march.’
      • ‘Perhaps another 200,000 Japanese soldiers, Okinawan auxiliaries and civilians died in the inferno.’
      • ‘Yet more significant than the range of foreign auxiliaries or subsidies garnered for Desert Storm was the ability of the US to secure the full cover of the United Nations for its campaign.’
      • ‘The auxiliary landed on his hands and feet inside the park and looked for the shooter.’
      • ‘Seventeen auxiliaries were killed by the IRA during the ambush.’
    3. 1.3Grammar An auxiliary verb.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He penned a 300-word long sentence without using a verb or an auxiliary on the Washington summit 15 years ago.’
      • ‘A very common subtype (in real life, not just advice manuals) involves government of verb forms by auxiliaries.’
      • ‘Seventy-five Panjabi-speaking pupils were assessed on their expression of the English modal auxiliaries can, could, may, and might.’
      • ‘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.’
    4. 1.4 A naval vessel with a supporting role, not armed for combat.
      • ‘It was the culmination of a busy year, in which the total number of warships and auxiliaries of all nations entering Portland Harbour limits has exceeded 2001's record by almost 50 per cent.’
      • ‘Recognizing it to be a naval auxiliary, the Shackleton stood off.’
      • ‘While in the Pacific the crew of the auxiliary traced the footsteps of Sir Francis Drake by landing boats on a Costa Rican shoreline.’
      • ‘A total of 22 warships, auxiliaries and submarines are now on order or under construction for use by the MOD.’
      • ‘They also proved their worthiness as naval auxiliaries in case of war.’
      • ‘For a majority of each day, the Royal Navy team is patrolling the waters of Gibraltar, checking vessels and escorting warships and auxiliaries of all nations into the busy harbour.’
      • ‘More than 50 British warships, survey vessels, training ships and auxiliaries will be joined by more than 120 foreign warships, merchantmen and tall ships in a review formation at Spithead.’
      • ‘Royal Navy veterans in South Africa rolled out the red carpet for a British auxiliary when it paid a visit to the port of Durban.’
      • ‘The war memorials now perched high on the hills list endless warships and naval auxiliaries that went down under bombardment.’
      • ‘During the Second World War, the Royal Navy lost 254 major warships due to enemy action, in addition to 1,035 minor war vessels and auxiliaries.’
      • ‘The remaining 100 or so vessels were auxiliaries which, in the event, took little part in the fighting.’
      • ‘By 1 February, U.S. naval intelligence was tracking a Kildin guided-missile destroyer, a Kotlin destroyer, a Riga destroyer escort, and four auxiliaries in the Sea of Japan.’
      • ‘Four different frigates and destroyers, as well as seven auxiliaries, had supported the operation.’
      • ‘The auxiliary has also been called upon to provide support for the two nuclear submarines which were assigned to the task group, HMS Trafalgar and HMS Superb.’
      • ‘The forty-two rotations have included survey ships, mine sweeper auxiliary and New Zealand minor war vessels.’
      • ‘He examines the issue of merchant ships being used as Royal Navy auxiliaries for commerce raiding and patrol duties.’
      • ‘The remaining ships, including light cruisers, destroyers, a scattering of gunboats, and a large number of both naval and army auxiliaries were left as decoys for the Task Force 58 planes.’
      • ‘Both carriers have now left the UK to join the growing flotilla of warships and auxiliaries heading for a rendezvous in the Mediterranean.’
      • ‘Prior to World War I, the U.S. Navy utilized a small number of support ships, known as naval auxiliaries and consisting primarily of colliers and supply ships.’
      • ‘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.’


Late Middle English: from Latin auxiliarius, from auxilium ‘help’.