1 of 2

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)
: a gathering place
especially : the marketplace in ancient Greece


2 of 2

noun (2)

ago·​ra ˌä-gə-ˈrä How to pronounce agora (audio)
plural agorot ˌä-gə-ˈrōt How to pronounce agora (audio)
: 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.

Examples of agora in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Over the next five months, the century-old Italian cultural institution is showcasing the work of 400 artists, designers, and architects from 40 countries, in the hopes of becoming a kind of agora for creative thinkers around the world. Anne Quito, Quartz, 14 July 2022 But term limits transformed Sacramento not into a Greek-style agora of free men, but a swamp where Republican fortunes have sunk ever since like a mastodon in the La Brea tar pits. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, 2 Apr. 2021 The agora of ancient Athens, where citizens assembled in the shadow of the Acropolis, was an expression of early democracy. Peter Schwartzstein, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 June 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'agora.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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"

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1591, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1961, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of agora was in 1591

Dictionary Entries Near agora

Cite this Entry

“Agora.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


plural agoras
or agorae
: the marketplace or gathering place in an ancient Greek city

More from Merriam-Webster on agora

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!