There are 2 main definitions of agenda in English:

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agenda 1

Pronunciation: /əˈjendə/


1A list of items to be discussed at a formal meeting: the question of nuclear weapons had been removed from the agenda
More example sentences
  • When he had been Mayor he had proposed that Any Other Business be removed from the meeting agendas.
  • The meeting discussed the agenda for the games and a further meeting will be held at a later date.
  • I am more than content to discuss this issue further and will add this to the agenda for our next meeting.
1.1A plan of things to be done or problems to be addressed: he vowed to put jobs at the top of his agenda the government had its own agenda
More example sentences
  • In most cases they raise the funding on the basis of their own agendas, plans and proposals.
  • Top of the agenda were plans for the Atlantic League designed to accommodate big clubs from the smaller countries.
  • Advocate for inclusion, but if they fail them in that regard, they should create their own programs and agendas to address the needs we neglect.
1.2The underlying intentions or motives of a particular person or group: Miller has his own agenda and it has nothing to do with football
More example sentences
  • Into their barren lives comes Aunt Miriam, a social worker with an agenda.
  • According to Harawira, the unions had their own agenda - closely aligned to protecting the interests of the company.
  • The various pressure groups which preserved these stories all had their own agendas.
plan, scheme, motive;
2North American An appointment diary.
Example sentences
  • Alter people's agendas so that no two contain any common item.
  • We will be sending you a calendar of events for the entire year, which should help organize your agendas and allow you to offer your utmost participation.
  • Also included is an attractive leather bound agenda made with recycled tropical fibers such as coffee, tobacco and bananas as well as an executive brass pen made with recycled brass.


Although agenda (‘things to be done’) is the plural of agendum in Latin, in standard modern English it is a normal singular noun with a normal plural form (agendas). See also data (usage) and media1.



on the agenda

Scheduled for discussion at a meeting: the rights of minorities would be high on the agenda at the conference
More example sentences
  • Also, the Civil Defence chief has been continuing to place the issue on the agenda of meetings.
  • Ivory will again be a major issue on the agenda at the 11th meeting of CITES in April.
  • Plans to construct a wind farm are on the agenda for the September meeting of Ramsbottom and Tottington Area Board.
1.1Likely or needing to be dealt with or done: his release was not on the agenda national problems loomed large on the domestic agenda
More example sentences
  • Celebrating St George's Day in April was likely to be high on the agenda, she said.
  • But deals are definitely back on the agenda, particularly among mid cap companies.
  • War is likely to be high on the agenda as entrepreneurs attempt to work out whether the conflict is good or bad for business.

set the agenda

Draw up a list of items to be discussed at a meeting.
Example sentences
  • Coreper plays an important part in EC decision-making, in part because it will consider and digest draft legislative proposals that emanate from the Commission, and in part because it helps to set the agenda for Council meetings.
  • The presidency of the council and the right to chair and set the agenda for council meetings changes hands every six months.
  • And here's an opportunity to set the agenda for the meeting, the venue and even the menu on the table.
2.1Influence or determine a program of action: the activists set the agenda, and timorous administrators usually go along
More example sentences
  • The authors touch upon the importance of actors influencing and setting the agenda on biotechnology.
  • As a reporter, she has spent her life setting the agenda and seems determined to continue to do so in our time together.
  • By setting the agenda and influencing judgments, innovations become targets of imitation.


Early 17th century (in the sense 'things to be done'): from Latin, neuter plural of agendum, gerund of agere 'do'.

  • actor from Late Middle English:

    An actor was originally simply ‘a doer’, usually an agent or an administrator; the theatrical sense dates from the 16th century. Like act (Late Middle English) it comes from Latin actus ‘thing done’, which comes from agere ‘to do, drive’. This is the basis of other English words such as agenda (early 17th century) ‘things to be done’; agent (Late Middle English) ‘someone or thing who does things’; agile (Late Middle English) ‘able to do things’; agitate (Late Middle English) originally meaning ‘drive away’; ambiguous (early 16th century) ‘drive in both ways’, a word, which appears to have been coined by the English scholar and statesman Sir Thomas More (1478–1535), originally in the sense ‘indistinct, obscure’; transaction (Late Middle English) ‘something driven across or through’ and many more. Actuality (Late Middle English) originally had the sense ‘activity’; from Old French actualite from actualis ‘active, practical’. The modern French word actualité (usually meaning ‘news’) is sometimes used in English to mean ‘truth’, a sense not found in French as in: ‘When asked why the company had not been advised to include the potential military use, he [Alan Clark] said it was our old friend economical…with the actualité’ (Independent 10 November 1992).

Words that rhyme with agenda

addenda, amender, ascender, attender, blender, Brenda, contender, corrigenda, descender, engender, extender, fazenda, fender, gender, Glenda, Gwenda, hacienda, Länder, lender, mender, offender, pudenda, recommender, referenda, render, sender, slender, spender, splendour (US splendor), surrender, suspender, tender, Venda, weekender, Wenda

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: a·gen·da

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There are 2 main definitions of agenda in English:

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Agenda 21 2

Entry from British & World English dictionary


An internationally agreed action plan for environmental protection and sustainable development, adopted by the 179 governments represented at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992.


1990s; earliest use found in EPA Journal. In reference to the 21st century.

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