Definition of aga
: 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).