aga

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

Definition of aga

plural -s
: 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

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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”


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