saga

noun
sa·​ga | \ ˈsä-gə also ˈsa- How to pronounce saga (audio) \

Definition of saga

1 : a prose narrative recorded in Iceland in the 12th and 13th centuries of historic or legendary figures and events of the heroic age of Norway and Iceland
2 : a modern heroic narrative resembling the Icelandic saga
3 : a long detailed account a saga of the Old South also : a dramatic and often complicated story or series of events For many people, the process caps an already lengthy immigration saga— Nora Caplan-Bricker A federal appeals court hears arguments Tuesday in the legal saga of two film producers fighting long prison terms and prosecutions … — Jordan S. Rubin

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A Brief History of Saga

Saga was originally used to describe Icelandic prose narratives composed in the 12th and 13th centuries. The word first appeared in English in that sense during the 18th century; by the middle of the 19th century we were employing saga is a somewhat looser fashion, in reference to modern stories involving heroic deeds that bore some resemblance to the Icelandic tales of yore. By the 20th century saga had come to be applied to other written works, typically a novel or series of novels, especially those that took place over a significant period of time. Today the word may also be used to describe a long and drawn-out story that is either written or spoken (as in “my neighbor told me the saga of his divorce again”). Saga comes from an Old Norse word of the same spelling. It does not have any connection with the adjective sagacious (“possessing quick intellectual perceptions”), which comes from the Latin sagax (“sagacious”).

Examples of saga in a Sentence

the saga of a shipwrecked crew Her first novel was a family saga set in Iowa. Getting our car back turned into quite a saga.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Based on the results of these experiments, Tajmar says a resolution to the EmDrive saga may only be a few months away. Daniel Oberhaus, WIRED, "A Mythical Form of Space Propulsion Finally Gets a Real Test," 5 June 2019 The theft of the Bonaparte diamond in Paris last week is just the latest saga in the epic tale of the French Crown Jewels. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "A 40-Carat Diamond Ring with Ties to the French Royal Family Was Just Recovered by Police in Paris," 8 Apr. 2019 In other hands this might have been one more junkie saga, focused on a down-and-out musician during one last dreary tour, flogging an album that no one wants to buy. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Nico, 1988’ Review: Heroin and Heroine," 2 Aug. 2018 His saga sounds somewhat typical for a utility player who took a while to find his niche. Noah Trister, The Seattle Times, "Big league teams appreciate the value of versatility," 29 Mar. 2019 While the strain between Elisabeth and Rosie has died down in recent years, a new excerpt from the upcoming book The Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View has reignited their 12-year saga. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "What Really Happened on 'The View' Between Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Rosie O'Donnell," 27 Mar. 2019 Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto Ms. Ibrahim prevailed, but her saga consumed 14 years and $3.6 million in attorney fees. Alex Kozinski, WSJ, "How a Pointless Lawsuit Took Off," 24 Jan. 2019 Vogueworld Gwendoline Christie Ruled the Game of Thrones Red Carpet in a Gown of Ice and Fire As the Game of Thrones saga comes to a close, many have tried to sum up the magic behind George R. R. Martin’s tale of kings, queens, and dragons. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Gwendoline Christie Ruled the Game of Thrones Red Carpet in a Gown of Ice and Fire," 4 Apr. 2019 So any hamster tips are welcome — christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) March 11, 2019 The climax of this saga was definitely when Peanut Butter escaped. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'The Voice' Coach John Legend Is 'Not Thrilled' About the New Member of His Family," 23 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'saga.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of saga

1709, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for saga

Old Norse — more at saw

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Learn More about saga

Dictionary Entries near saga

saft

sag

SAG

saga

sagaciate

sagacious

sagacity

Statistics for saga

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for saga

The first known use of saga was in 1709

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More Definitions for saga

saga

noun

English Language Learners Definition of saga

: a long and complicated story with many details
: a long and complicated series of events
: a long story about past heroes from Norway and Iceland

saga

noun
sa·​ga | \ ˈsä-gə How to pronounce saga (audio) \

Kids Definition of saga

1 : a story of heroic deeds
2 : a long and often complicated story

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More from Merriam-Webster on saga

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with saga

Spanish Central: Translation of saga

Nglish: Translation of saga for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of saga for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about saga

Comments on saga

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