Definition of saga
- a saga of the Old South
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.
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.
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”).
: 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
What made you want to look up saga? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
investment of mental or emotional energy
Get Word of the Day daily email!