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ancillary

adjective

Definition: 1. describing something that is added, but is not essential; 2. of less importance than something or someone else; 3. providing support for or assisting someone

Synonyms: additional, supplementary, auxiliary, secondary, subordinate, subsidiary, supportive, extrinsic

Antonyms: primary

Tips: Ancillary came from the Latin word ancilla, which means "handmaid" and is the feminine form of the word anculus, which means "manservant." The original meaning of the word was that of a subordinate, or someone who assists another person in a position or profession, but has also come to mean anything additional and secondary. Ancillary can also be used as a noun to mean any subordinate part or someone who is in a (non-technical) support position.

Usage Examples:

In addition to our core service offering, there are some ancillary services we can sell to our clients. (additional, supplementary)

I think we have a solid case, but there are some ancillary arguments we could make, if needed. (additional, supplementary)

We couldn't have completed this project without the ancillary support of our temporary staff. (auxiliary, secondary)

James is only in an ancillary position and probably won't be much help; we should go directly to his boss. (subordinate, auxiliary)


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