[suh b-sid-ee-er-ee]
  1. serving to assist or supplement; auxiliary; supplementary.
  2. subordinate or secondary: subsidiary issues.
  3. of or relating to a subsidiary.
noun, plural sub·sid·i·ar·ies.
  1. a subsidiary thing or person.
  2. subsidiary company.
  3. Music. a subordinate theme or subject.

Origin of subsidiary

1535–45; < Latin subsidiārius, equivalent to subsidi(um) (see subsidy) + -ārius -ary
Related formssub·sid·i·ar·i·ly [suh b-sid-ee-air-uh-lee, -sid-ee-er-] /səbˌsɪd iˈɛər ə li, -ˈsɪd iˌɛr-/, adverbsub·sid·i·ar·i·ness, nounnon·sub·sid·i·ar·y, adjective, noun, plural non·sub·sid·i·ar·ies.un·sub·sid·i·ar·y, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for subsidiarily


  1. serving to aid or supplement; auxiliary
  2. of lesser importance; subordinate in function
noun plural -aries
  1. a person who or thing that is subsidiary
  2. short for subsidiary company
Derived Formssubsidiarily, adverbsubsidiariness, noun

Word Origin for subsidiary

C16: from Latin subsidiārius supporting, from subsidium subsidy
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 subsidiarily



1540s, from Middle French subsidiaire, from Latin subsidiarius "serving to assist or supplement," from subsidium "help, aid" (see subsidy).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper