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agent Line breaks: agent
Pronunciation: /ˈeɪdʒ(ə)nt/

Definition of agent in English:


1A person who acts on behalf of another, in particular:
Example sentences
  • In addition you stated that the immigration officer did ask you questions but you were given instructions by the agent and the agent replied on your behalf.
  • North Wiltshire District Council rejected a proposal by Hunter Page Planning the agent acting on behalf of the landowner, the Minton Group last September.
  • Transactions by a party with a parent company are not mutual with transactions with a subsidiary; nor are transactions between brokers acting as agents on behalf of customers.
representative, negotiator, business manager, emissary, envoy, factor, go-between, proxy, surrogate, trustee, liaison, broker, delegate, spokesperson, spokesman, spokeswoman, frontman, mouthpiece
informal rep
1.1A person who manages business, financial, or contractual matters for an actor, performer, writer, etc.
Example sentences
  • By that time, I was in the sort of semi-media business as an agent handling writers.
  • The role of the publisher could change markedly and perhaps be collapsed into that of the writers and their business managers and agents.
  • Actors, agents and managers go home happy with a tasty 10-15% of their clients' payday.
1.2A person or company that provides a particular service, typically one that involves organizing transactions between two other parties: a travel agent
More example sentences
  • From a product manufacturer's viewpoint, there continues to be a growing need to provide value-added services to agents.
  • Another service such agents provide is a temporary loan.
  • If there is any doubt as to whether the agent is providing the services stated on the contract, then it may be safer merely to terminate without giving reason by serving written notice as provided in the agreement.
agency, business, organization, company, firm, office, bureau, concern, service
1.3A person who works secretly to obtain information for a government or other official body: a trained intelligence agent
More example sentences
  • As a private attorney, he works without charge to help hundreds of intelligence agents obtain lawful permission to declassify and publish the hidden secrets of our times.
  • But without the information from FBI intelligence agents, his grand jury didn't have enough evidence to return indictments.
  • The Interior Ministry will also command a domestic intelligence network made up largely of secret police and intelligence agents from the ousted government.
spy, secret agent, undercover agent, operative, fifth columnist, Mata Hari
informal mole, spook, snooper, G-man
archaic intelligencer, beagle, lurcher
2A person or thing that takes an active role or produces a specified effect: agents of environmental change bleaching agents
More example sentences
  • Using animals, they will study the development of mammary tissue and the effects of specific environmental agents.
  • Indirect evidence suggests that viruses may play a role as the environmental agent.
  • The role of moral agent has a direct effect on the patient care experience.
medium, means, instrument, vehicle;
power, force
2.1 Grammar The doer of an action, typically expressed as the subject of an active verb or in a by phrase with a passive verb.
Example sentences
  • Through the use of the passive voice, the agent which designs ‘these carefully targeted actions’ has been left unspecified.
  • While the pivot of an intransitive clause is the core-argument of the verb, the pivot of a transitive clause is not its agent but its patient.
  • For instance, when we describe one person as having killed another, we imply that the first person - the agent of the action - caused the death of the second person.
doer, performer, author, executor, perpetrator, operator, operative, mover, producer;
cause, origin, root, source, instrument, catalyst
2.2 Computing An independently operating Internet program, typically one that performs background tasks such as information retrieval or processing on behalf of a user or other program.
Example sentences
  • Software agents are semi-intelligent computer programs that help users with the overload of information and the complexity of the online world.
  • Host-based IPSs protect servers and workstations via software agents that are placed between applications and the operating system's kernel.
  • Software agents are programs that cooperate with each other in unpredictable environments without human intervention.


Pronunciation: /ˈeɪdʒəntɪv/
adjective ( Grammar )
Example sentences
  • There is variation between er and or in the spelling of the agentive suffix in the words adapter/adaptor, adviser/advisor, convener/convenor, imposter/impostor:.
  • Lingering questions from my senior thesis on the historical lexico-morphological development of the er agentive in English.
  • First, a noun form of the verb, i.e. gerund or agentive noun, is combined with some other word to make a compound word.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'someone or something that produces an effect'): from Latin agent- 'doing', from agere.

Definition of agent in:
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