variants or less commonly ageng or agong
plural agung also ageng or agong
: any of various suspended, bossed, wide-rimmed gongs of Southeast Asia
… the drum elaborates on the rhythmic patterns of the agung.Traditional Drama and Music of Southeast Asia, 1974

Word History


borrowed from a word in languages of the southern Philippines and adjacent parts of Indonesia, such as Magindanao and Central Sinama (Sama-Bajau language of the Sulu Archipelago) agung, Maranao agong, Manobo of Bukidnon (northern Mindanao) agung (phonetically aγuŋ), all probably borrowed directly or indirectly from Old Javanese agoŋ "with gongs," prefixed form of goŋ gong entry 1

Note: Details of the diffusion and forms of this etymon are in need of clarification. Alan Stevens and A.E. Schmidgall-Tellings, A Comprehensive Indonesian-English Dictionary, 2nd edition (Ohio University Press, 2010), record agung as an obsolete word for "gong" in Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia). The spelling ageng is perhaps by confusion with Javanese gong ageng "large gong."

First Known Use

1913, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of agung was in 1913

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.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Dictionary Entries Near agung

Cite this Entry

“Agung.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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