Etymology
Advertisement

agency (n.)

1650s, "active operation;" 1670s, "a mode of exerting power or producing effect," from Medieval Latin agentia, abstract noun from Latin agentem (nominative agens) "effective, powerful," present participle of agere "to set in motion, drive forward; to do, perform," figuratively "incite to action; keep in movement" (from PIE root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move"). The meaning "establishment where business is done for another" is recorded by 1861.

updated on September 15, 2022

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of agency from WordNet

agency (n.)
an administrative unit of government;
Synonyms: federal agency / government agency / bureau / office / authority
agency (n.)
a business or organization that provides a particular service, especially the mediation of transactions between two parties;
agency (n.)
the state of being in action or exerting power;
she has free agency
the agency of providence
agency (n.)
the state of serving as an official and authorized delegate or agent;
Synonyms: representation / delegacy
agency (n.)
thing or person that acts to produce a particular effect or achieve an end;
an example is the best agency of instruction
Synonyms: means / way
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.