AskDefine | Define adjunct

Dictionary Definition

adjunct adj
1 relating to something that is added but is not essential; "an ancillary pump"; "an adjuvant discipline to forms of mysticism"; "The mind and emotions are auxilliary to each other" [syn: accessory, ancillary, adjuvant, appurtenant, auxiliary, subsidiary]
2 of or relating to a person who is subordinate to another [syn: assistant]


1 something added to another thing but not an essential part of it
2 a person who is an assistant or subordinate to another
3 a construction that is part of a sentence but not essential to its meaning and can be omitted without making the sentence ungrammatical

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. An appendage; something attached to something else in a subordinate capacity
  2. A person associated with another in a subordinate position
  3. A clause in a sentence that amplifies its meaning.
    "for a while" in "I typed for a while".



Derived terms

Extensive Definition

In linguistics, an adjunct is any word, phrase, or clause joined to another word or phrase to qualify or modify it. It could be of two kinds, adverbial, if it modifies a verb or verb phrase, or adnominal, if it modifies a noun or noun phrase.
An adverbial adjunct is a sentence element that establishes the circumstances in which the action or state expressed by the verb take place.
The following sentence uses adjuncts of time and place:
Yesterday Lorna saw the dog in the garden.
This definition can be extended to include adjuncts that modify nouns or other parts of speech (see noun adjunct):
The large dog in the garden is very friendly.
Adjuncts are always extranuclear; that is, removing an adjunct leaves a grammatically well-formed sentence. They can thus be contrasted with complements. All adjuncts are adverbials.


An adjunct can be a single word, a phrase, or a clause.

Semantic function of adverbial adjuncts

Adverbial adjuncts establish circumstances for the nuclear of a sentence, which can be classified as followings:
He arrived yesterday. (time point)
He stayed for two weeks. (duration)
She drinks in that bar every day. (frequentive)
She sat on the table. (locative)
She drove to London. (directional locative)
He ran with difficulty. (manner)
He stood in silence. (state)
He helped me with my homework. (limiting)
The ladder collapsed because it was old. (reason)
She went out to buy some bread. (purpose)
Mr. Bibby wrote the letter with a pencil.
The letter was written by Mr. Bibby.
I would go to Paris, if I had the money.
Lorna went out although it was raining.

Adverbial adjunct and adverbial complement distinguished

An adjunct must always be a removable, i.e. extranuclear, element in the sentence. In the sentence below in the park can be removed and a well-formed sentence remains.
John drank a beer in the park. (locative adjunct)
In the sentence below, however, in the park is part of the nucleus of the sentence and cannot be removed. It is thus not an adjunct but an adverbial complement.
John is in the park. (locative complement)
adjunct in German: Adjunkt (Syntax)
adjunct in Romanian: Complement circumstanţial consecutiv
adjunct in Finnish: Adjunkti
adjunct in Hebrew: תיאור (לשון)

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

accession, accessory, accident, accidental, accord, accretion, addendum, addition, adjunction, adornment, affairs, affiliation, affinity, affix, affixation, agglutination, aggrandizement, alliance, ally, ampliation, amplification, annexation, appanage, appendage, appendix, approximation, appurtenance, arrangement, aspect, assemblage, associate, association, attachment, attendant, augmentation, auxiliary, bedfellow, bond, broadening, brother, brother-in-arms, circumstance, closeness, coadjutor, cohort, collateral, colleague, color, color patterns, combination, companion, compatriot, compeer, component, comrade, concomitant, confederate, confrere, connectedness, connection, consociate, consort, constituent, contents, contiguity, contingency, contingent, contrariety, corollary, crescendo, crony, cross section, dealings, decor, decoration, deduction, deployment, detachment, detail, disjunction, dispersion, division, dole, elaboration, element, embellishment, emblazonment, emblazonry, embroidery, enlargement, expansion, extension, extra, factor, fanning out, feature, fellow, fellow member, filiation, fixings, fixture, flare, flourish, flower arrangement, fraction, furniture arrangement, garnish, garnishment, garniture, happenstance, hiking, homology, illumination, incidental, increase, inessential, ingredient, installment, integrant, intercourse, intimacy, item, joining, junction, juxtaposition, liaison, link, linkage, linking, magnification, makings, mere chance, mutual attraction, nearness, nonessential, not-self, ornament, ornamentation, other, parcel, part, part and parcel, particular, percentage, portion, prefixation, propinquity, proximity, quadrant, quarter, quota, raising, random sample, rapport, reinforcement, relatedness, relation, relations, relationship, remainder, sample, sampling, secondary, section, sector, segment, share, similarity, specialty, splay, spread, spreading, subdivision, subgroup, subsidiary, subspecies, suffixation, superaddition, superfetation, superjunction, superposition, supplement, supplementation, sympathy, tie, tie-in, trim, trimming, unessential, union, uniting, upping, widening, window dressing
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1