agency

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English[edit]

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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for agency in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)

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Etymology[edit]

From Medieval Latin agentia, from Latin agens (present participle of agere (to act)), agentis (cognate with French agence, see also agent).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

agency (countable and uncountable, plural agencies)

  1. The capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power; action or activity; operation.
    The superintendence and agency of Providence in the natural world. --Woodward.
  2. A person or thing through which power is exerted or an end is achieved: instrumentality, means.
  3. The office or function of an agent; also, the relationship between a principal and that person's agent.
  4. An establishment engaged in doing business for another; also, the place of business or the district of such an agency.
  5. A department or other administrative unit of a government; also, the office or headquarters of, or the district administered by such unit of government.
    Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
    Central Intelligence Agency

Synonyms[edit]

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Hyponyms[edit]

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