[ an-suh-ler-ee or, esp. British, an-sil-uh-ree ]
/ ˈæn səˌlɛr i or, esp. British, ænˈsɪl ə ri /


subordinate; subsidiary.
auxiliary; assisting.

noun, plural an·cil·lar·ies.

something that serves in an ancillary capacity: Slides, records, and other ancillaries can be used with the basic textbook.

Origin of ancillary

1660–70; < Latin ancill(a) (see ancilla) + -ary; compare Latin ancillāris having the status of a female slave, with -āris -ar1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ancillary

British Dictionary definitions for ancillary


/ (ænˈsɪlərɪ) /


auxiliary; supplementaryancillary services

noun plural -laries

a subsidiary or auxiliary thing or personthe company has an ancillary abroad

Word Origin for ancillary

C17: from Latin ancillāris concerning maidservants, from ancilla, diminutive of ancūla female servant
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

Word Origin and History for ancillary



1660s, "subservient, subordinate," from Latin ancillaris "relating to maidservants," diminutive of ancilla "handmaid," fem. diminutive of anculus "servant," literally "he who bustles about," from root of ambi- "about" (see ambi-) + PIE *kwol-o-, from root *kwel- "move round, turn about, be much about" (see cycle (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for ancillary


[ ănsə-lĕr′ē ]


Relating to or being auxiliary or secondary.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.