Definition of saga in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsäɡə/


1A long story of heroic achievement, especially a medieval prose narrative in Old Norse or Old Icelandic: a figure straight out of a Viking saga
More example sentences
  • Okpewho apparently wishes to treat his narratives as a form of heroic recitation similar to the epics and heroic sagas that have been recorded elsewhere on the continent, despite the generic differences described above.
  • Such verses are preserved mainly in the kings' sagas; many ‘lausavísur’ or occasional verses, and some love poetry are included in the narratives of family sagas.
  • The ancient sagas of Snorri Sturluson are well-known among medieval literary scholars.
epic, chronicle, legend, folk tale, romance, history, narrative, adventure, myth, fairy story
1.1A long, involved story, account, or series of incidents: the saga of her engagement
More example sentences
  • And so began a saga that involved the Rail Regulator and the Rail Passenger Committee.
  • Later she was described as the only sane person in the whole saga.
  • An account of the sorry saga appeared in a Think Secret scoop last week.
long story, rigmarole;
chain of events
informal spiel


Early 18th century: from Old Norse, literally 'narrative'; related to saw3.

  • The original medieval sagas told traditional stories of the families of Iceland and the kings of Norway. No one in Britain paid much attention to them until the 18th century, at the same time as the word saga entered the language. Its old Icelandic original is the equivalent of English saw in old saw, an old proverb or maxim, and meant ‘a narrative, a story’. From the mid 19th century saga came also to apply to stories of heroic achievement and then to novels tracing families through several generations. The 1990s gave us the Aga saga, a novel by a writer such as Joanna Trollope set in a rural location and concerning the emotional lives of characters who set great store by their Aga, a stove invented in Sweden. Aga (mid 20th century) gets its name from the initial letters of Svenska Aktienbolaget Gasackumulator, Swedish Gas Accumulator Company, the original manufacturers.

Words that rhyme with saga

Aga, Braga, dagga, dargah, laager, lager, naga, Onondaga, raga

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sa·ga

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