aga

noun, often capitalized \ˈä-gə, ˈa-\
variants: less commonly

agha

\ˈä-gə, ˈa-\

Definition of aga

plural

-s

  1. :  a man of authority who bears a title of respect: such as a :  a military or civil officer in the Ottoman Empire a vast body of dragoons … under … their great aga — Jonathan Swift b :  a Turkish chief the khans … and agas … are probably the oldest landed aristocracy of the world — Harold Lamb c :  a religious leader the Aga Khan … claims descent from Fatima — H. G. Rawlinson

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:

  • 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Origin and Etymology of aga

borrowed from Ottoman Turkish ağa “lord, master, respected man (in titles),” going back to Medieval Turkic, literally, “older brother,” borrowed from Mongolian (Uigur-script) aqa, (Arabic-script) āqā “older brother”


First Known Use: 1524


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up aga? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to help become familiar with something

Get Word of the Day daily email!