from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of secondary importance: "For Degas, sculpture was never more than ancillary to his painting” ( Herbert Read).
  • adj. Auxiliary; helping: an ancillary pump.
  • n. Something, such as a workbook, that is subordinate to something else, such as a textbook.
  • n. Archaic A servant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Subordinate; secondary; auxiliary; accessory.
  • n. Something that serves an ancillary function, such as an easel for a painter.
  • n. An auxiliary; a subordinate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Subservient or subordinate, like a handmaid; auxiliary.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Serving as an aid, adjunct, or accessory; subservient; auxiliary; supplementary.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. furnishing added support


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

From Latin ancilla, maidservant, feminine diminutive of anculus, servant; see kwel-1 in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin ancillāris, from ancilla ("maid"), diminutive of ancula, feminine of anculus ("a male servant"), from *ancus ("a servant"), from ambi- ("about") + Proto-Indo-European *kwol-o-, from base *kwel- (“move round, turn about, be much about”).


  • US Airways for example is set to earn ancillary revenues of $400 million to $500 million from its ­ancillary revenue programme in 2009. and Travel Distribution News

  • However, we have, in California and other state, what we call ancillary probate.

    CNN Transcript Feb 16, 2007

  • But there's still a lot of what we call ancillary action around.

    Trunk Music

  • Beyond the salary cap system issues that divide the sides, union executive director Billy Hunter said there were six pages of what he called ancillary items, such as the draft age and the commissioner's disciplinary rights, that still must be addressed before a deal.

  • The trend toward à la carte pricing - once the hallmark of no-frills, low-cost carriers - has in recent years been adopted by the legacy airlines, and will likely continue in 2009, as carriers try to boost what they call ancillary revenue.

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  • American Airlines, which last year pocketed an extra billion in "ancillary revenue," calls them "a pretty big success story."

    The Consumerist: March 2009 Archives

  • Why have tax payers pay twice for this program ... federal tax dollars and state tax dollars, plus we'd save money in ancillary costs ie salaries, retirement and other overhead costs.

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  • Revealed truth, given through the tra - dition to which one is committed, must be the ruling mistress; philosophy, through which the metaphors of scripture are harmonized with each other and with other systematic knowledge, must be ancillary (from ancilla, the Latin word for serving girl).

    Dictionary of the History of Ideas

  • But I am going to ask your indulgence and supposing I do not concentrate entirely on Empire trade, but speak on certain ancillary matters which I believe are bound up with Empire trade, then I hope you will understand.

    Empire Trade

  • So, we were excited about that the ancillary services market I think are particularly encouraging where the same technology that we have and many of the same customers that we have can participate in these more frequent shorter term ancillary services opportunities that basically another revenue stream on top of our capacity revenue. Home Page


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  • I absolutely hate the sound of this word. It sounds like it should be "ancillIary" and it actually makes the hair stand up on my nape, reading it.

    March 13, 2010

  • Most often used to describe benefits, I would say.

    May 17, 2009

  • –adjective

    1. subordinate; subsidiary.

    May 16, 2009