Definition of agency in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈeɪdʒ(ə)nsi/


1 [often with adjective or noun modifier] A business or organization providing a particular service on behalf of another business, person, or group: 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.
business, organization, company, firm, office, bureau, concern, service;
branch, representative
1.1A department or body providing a specific service for a government or other 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 [mass noun] Action or intervention producing a particular effect: canals carved by the agency of running water
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.
action, activity, effect, influence, force, power, work;
means, vehicle, medium, instrument, mechanism, route, channel, mode, technique, expedient
intervention, intercession, involvement, mediation, arbitration, interposing, instrumentality, good offices;
auspices, aegis
2.1 [count noun] A thing or person that acts to produce a particular result: the movies could be an agency moulding 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.


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

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