noun \ˈsä-gə also ˈsa-\

: a long and complicated story with many details

: a long and complicated series of events

: a long story about past heroes from Norway and Iceland

Full Definition of SAGA

:  a prose narrative recorded in Iceland in the 12th and 13th centuries of historic or legendary figures and events of the heroic age of Norway and Iceland
:  a modern heroic narrative resembling the Icelandic saga
:  a long detailed account <a saga of the Old South>

Examples of SAGA

  1. the saga of a shipwrecked crew
  2. Her first novel was a family saga set in Iowa.
  3. Getting our car back turned into quite a saga.

Origin of SAGA

Old Norse — more at saw
First Known Use: 1709

Other Literature Terms

apophasis, bathos, bildungsroman, bowdlerize, caesura, coda, doggerel, euphemism, poesy, prosody

Rhymes with SAGA


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Genre of prose narrative typically dealing with prominent figures and events of the heroic age in Norway and Iceland, especially as recorded in Icelandic manuscripts of the late 12th and 13th century. Once thought to be orally transmitted history that had finally been written down, sagas are now usually regarded as reconstructions of the past, imaginative in varying degrees and created according to aesthetic principles. Important ideals in sagas are heroism and loyalty; revenge often plays a part. Action is preferred to reflection, and description of the inner motives and point of view of protagonists is minimized. Subdivisions of the genre include kings' sagas, recounting the lives of Scandinavian rulers; legendary sagas, treating themes from myth and legend; and Icelanders' sagas. See also Grettis saga, Njáls saga.


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