noun (1)
ag·​o·​ra | \ ˈa-gə-rə How to pronounce agora (audio) \
plural agoras or agorae\ ˈa-​gə-​ˌrē How to pronounce agora (audio) , -​ˌrī \

Definition of agora

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a gathering place especially : the marketplace in ancient Greece


noun (2)
ago·​ra | \ ˌä-gə-ˈrä How to pronounce agora (audio) \
plural agorot\ ˌä-​gə-​ˈrōt How to pronounce agora (audio) \

Definition of agora (Entry 2 of 2)

: a monetary subunit of the shekel — see shekel at Money Table

Did You Know?

In ancient Greek cities, an agora was an open space serving as an assembly area and a place for commercial, civic, social, and religious activities. Use of the agora varied in different periods. Located in the middle of the city or near the harbor, it was often enclosed by public buildings, covered areas containing shops, and stoas for protection from sun and bad weather. The highest honor for a citizen was to be granted a tomb in the agora.

First Known Use of agora

Noun (1)

1591, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1961, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for agora

Noun (1)

borrowed from Greek agorá, noun derivative of ageírein "to gather, assemble," of uncertain origin

Note: An Indo-European base *h2ger- is reconstructible, but Greek ageírein has no easily recognizable congeners. Comparisons with Latin greg-, grex "flock" (allegedly from a reduplicated *gre-g-) and further forms with assumed root extensions from a base *gr- are extremely tenuous.

Noun (2)

borrowed from Modern Hebrewʼăgōrāh, going back to Hebrew, "payment, coin," derivative of ʼāgar "to hire"

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Cite this Entry

“Agora.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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