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agent

play
noun \ˈā-jənt\

Simple Definition of agent

  • : a person who does business for another person : a person who acts on behalf of another

  • : a person who tries to get secret information about another country, government, etc.

  • : a person or thing that causes something to happen

Full Definition of agent

  1. 1 :  one that acts or exerts power

  2. 2 a :  something that produces or is capable of producing an effect :  an active or efficient cause b :  a chemically, physically, or biologically active principle

  3. 3 :  a means or instrument by which a guiding intelligence achieves a result

  4. 4 :  one who is authorized to act for or in the place of another: as a :  a representative, emissary, or official of a government <crown agent> <federal agent> b :  one engaged in undercover activities (as espionage) :  spy <secret agent> c :  a business representative (as of an athlete or entertainer) <a theatrical agent>

  5. 5 :  a computer application designed to automate certain tasks (as gathering information online)

Examples of agent

  1. They worked with a travel agent to plan their vacation.

  2. <the whitening agent in the detergent is chlorine bleach>



Origin of agent

Middle English, from Medieval Latin agent-, agens, from Latin, present participle of agere to drive, lead, act, do; akin to Old Norse aka to travel in a vehicle, Greek agein to drive, lead


First Known Use: 15th century



AGENT Defined for Kids

agent

play
noun \ˈā-jənt\

Definition of agent

  1. 1 :  something that produces an effect <cleansing agents>

  2. 2 :  a person who acts or does business for another <a travel agent>




Medical Dictionary

agent

play
noun \ˈā-jənt\

Medical Definition of agent

  1. 1:  something that produces or is capable of producing an effect

  2. 2:  a chemically, physically, or biologically active principle—see oxidizing agent, reducing agent





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