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agent (n.)

late 15c., "one who acts," from Latin agentem (nominative agens) "effective, powerful," present participle of agere "to set in motion, drive forward; to do, perform; keep in movement" (from PIE root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move"). Meaning "any natural force or substance which produces a phenomenon" is from 1550s. Meaning "deputy, representative" is from 1590s. Sense of "spy, secret agent" is attested by 1916.

agent (adj.)

1610s, from agent (n.).

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Definitions of agent from WordNet

agent (n.)
an active and efficient cause; capable of producing a certain effect;
their research uncovered new disease agents
agent (n.)
a representative who acts on behalf of other persons or organizations;
agent (n.)
a substance that exerts some force or effect;
agent (n.)
a businessman who buys or sells for another in exchange for a commission;
Synonyms: factor / broker
agent (n.)
any agent or representative of a federal agency or bureau;
Synonyms: federal agent
agent (n.)
the semantic role of the animate entity that instigates or causes the happening denoted by the verb in the clause;
Synonyms: agentive role
From wordnet.princeton.edu