Share this entry

Share this page

agency

Syllabification: a·gen·cy
Pronunciation: /ˈājənsē
 
/

Definition of agency in English:

noun

1 [often with adjective or noun modifier] A business or organization established to provide a particular service, typically one that involves organizing transactions between two other parties: an advertising agency aid agencies
More example sentences
  • He and his fiancée, who runs her own temporary agency business for dental nurses, wanted to move to the South Coast.
  • There was a crowd of advertising agency people in action, outside and in, doing a photo shoot of some new Starbucks goodie.
  • BlogAds is an online agency that allows businesses to buy advertising space on blogs.
Synonyms
business, organization, company, firm, office, bureau
1.1A department or body providing a specific service for a government or similar organization: the Environmental Protection Agency
More example sentences
  • Firstly, Scottish Enterprise is a government-funded agency not a government department.
  • In the education service the governing body of each agency is the employer of the chief executive.
  • The article then goes on to include the title of the report and the specific agency that issued it.
2 Law The office or function of an agent: a contract of agency
3Action or intervention, especially such as to produce a particular effect: canals carved by the agency of running water a belief in various forms of supernatural agency
More example sentences
  • Hence they are not easy to weigh up their adversarial effects which are not known by the agency of action and at the time of the action.
  • Later he became strongly opposed to the theory that proglacial lakes were formed by the agency of huge glacial dams.
  • Happiness is finally restored by the agency of enchanted potions.
Synonyms
action, activity, means, effect, influence, force, power, vehicle, medium
intervention, intercession, involvement, good offices;
auspices, aegis
3.1A thing or person that acts to produce a particular result: the movies could be an agency molding the values of the public
More example sentences
  • The risk theory has merits that are independent of its claim to explain what it is for an agency to cause harm.
  • Natural selection is an agency of adaptive change which operates between generations.
  • Biological expertise could thus be the basis of risk prevention strategies by a variety of agencies of social control.

Origin

mid 17th century: from medieval Latin agentia, from agent- 'doing' (see agent).

Words that rhyme with agency

extravagancyplangency

Definition of agency in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day resilient
Pronunciation: rɪˈzɪlɪənt
adjective
able to recoil or spring back into shape…