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Wordswarms From Years Past

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agency shop
agenda item
agent authentication
agent bank
agent net
Agent Orange
agent provocateur
agentive role

Agent definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

A'GENT, a. Acting; opposed to patient, or sustaining action; as, the body agent. [Little used.]
A'GENT, n.
1. An actor; one that exerts power, or has the power to act; as, a moral agent.
2. An active power or cause; that which has the power to produce an effect; as, heat is a powerful agent.
3. A substitute, deputy, or factor; one entrusted with the business of another; and attorney; a minister.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: an active and efficient cause; capable of producing a certain effect; "their research uncovered new disease agents"
2: a representative who acts on behalf of other persons or organizations
3: a substance that exerts some force or effect
4: a businessman who buys or sells for another in exchange for a commission [syn: agent, factor, broker]
5: any agent or representative of a federal agency or bureau [syn: agent, federal agent]
6: the semantic role of the animate entity that instigates or causes the happening denoted by the verb in the clause [syn: agentive role, agent]

Merriam Webster's

noun Etymology: Middle English, from Medieval Latin agent-, agens, from Latin, present participle of agere to drive, lead, act, do; akin to Old Norse aka to travel in a vehicle, Greek agein to drive, lead Date: 15th century 1. one that acts or exerts power 2. a. something that produces or is capable of producing an effect ; an active or efficient cause b. a chemically, physically, or biologically active principle 3. a means or instrument by which a guiding intelligence achieves a result 4. one who is authorized to act for or in the place of another: as a. a representative, emissary, or official of a government <crown agent> <federal agent> b. one engaged in undercover activities (as espionage) ; spy <secret agent> c. a business representative (as of an athlete or entertainer) <a theatrical agent> 5. a computer application designed to automate certain tasks (as gathering information online)

U.S. Military Dictionary

In intelligence usage, one who is authorized or instructed to obtain or to assist in obtaining information for intelligence or counterintelligence purposes.

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. 1 a a person who acts for another in business, politics, etc. (estate agent; insurance agent). b a spy. 2 a a person or thing that exerts power or produces an effect. b the cause of a natural force or effect on matter (oxidizing agent). c such a force or effect. Phrases and idioms: agent-general a representative of an Australian State or Canadian province, usu. in London. Derivatives: agential adj. Etymology: L agent- part. stem of agere do

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Agent A"gent, a. [L. agens, agentis, p. pr. of agere to act; akin to Gr. ? to lead, Icel. aka to drive, Skr. aj. [root]2.] Acting; -- opposed to patient, or sustaining, action. [Archaic] ``The body agent.'' --Bacon.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Agent A"gent, n. 1. One who exerts power, or has the power to act; an actor. Heaven made us agents, free to good or ill. --Dryden. 2. One who acts for, or in the place of, another, by authority from him; one intrusted with the business of another; a substitute; a deputy; a factor. 3. An active power or cause; that which has the power to produce an effect; as, a physical, chemical, or medicinal agent; as, heat is a powerful agent.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(agents) Frequency: The word is one of the 1500 most common words in English. 1. An agent is a person who looks after someone else's business affairs or does business on their behalf. (BUSINESS) You are buying direct, rather than through an agent. = representative, rep N-COUNT see also estate agent, press agent, travel agent 2. An agent in the arts world is a person who gets work for an actor or musician, or who sells the work of a writer to publishers. N-COUNT 3. An agent is a person who works for a country's secret service. All these years he's been an agent for the East. N-COUNT 4. A chemical that has a particular effect or is used for a particular purpose can be referred to as a particular kind of agent. ...the bleaching agent in white flour. N-COUNT: supp N

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

n. 1. Actor, doer, operator, performer, executor. 2. Active element, cause, force, modifying cause or force, power, effective principle. 3. Deputy, attorney, factor, representative, substitute, proxy, go-between, procurator, middleman, commissioner, vicegerent. 4. Hand, employé, operative.

Moby Thesaurus

Charlie McCarthy, Federal, acid, acidity, acolyte, activator, actor, adjutant, administrator, advocate, agency, aid, aide, aide-de-camp, aider, alkali, alkalinity, alloisomer, amanuensis, amicus curiae, ancilla, anion, antacid, appliance, appointee, architect, assignee, assistant, atom, attendant, attorney, attorney-at-law, author, auxiliary, baggage agent, barrister, barrister-at-law, base, begetter, beginner, best man, biochemical, broker, business agent, buyer, candidate, catalyst, cation, cause, causer, channel, chemical, chemical element, chromoisomer, claim agent, clerk, coadjutant, coadjutor, coadjutress, coadjutrix, commercial agent, commission agent, commissionaire, commissioner, compound, conductor, connection, consignee, contrivance, copolymer, counsel, counselor, counselor-at-law, creator, creature, customer agent, delegate, deputy, device, dimer, directeur, director, distributor, doer, driver, dummy, dupe, effector, element, emissary, energizer, engenderer, engineer, envoy, executant, executive, executive officer, executor, executrix, fabricator, factor, father, fed, federal agent, force, freight agent, friend at court, front, front man, functionary, general agent, generator, go-between, governor, handler, handmaid, handmaiden, heavy chemicals, help, helper, helpmate, helpmeet, high polymer, homopolymer, hydracid, implement, impresario, ingredient, inorganic chemical, inspirer, instigator, instrument, instrumentality, instrumentation, insurance agent, intendant, interagent, interceder, intercessor, intermediary, intermediate, intermediate agent, intermediator, intermedium, internuncio, intervener, interventionist, interventor, ion, isomer, jobber, land agent, law agent, lawyer, legal adviser, legal counselor, legal expert, legal practitioner, legalist, legate, lever, liaison, licensee, lieutenant, link, literary agent, loan agent, macromolecule, maker, manager, manipulator, means, mechanism, mediary, mediator, medium, metamer, middleman, midwife, minion, minister, ministry, molecule, monomer, mother, mouthpiece, mover, negotiant, negotiator, negotiatress, negotiatrix, neutralizer, news agent, nominee, nonacid, official, ombudsman, operant, operative, operator, organ, organic chemical, originator, oxyacid, paranymph, paraprofessional, parent, parliamentary agent, passenger agent, pawn, performer, perpetrator, pilot, plaything, pleader, polymer, power, practitioner, press agent, prime mover, primum mobile, proctor, procurator, producer, proxy, pseudoisomer, puppet, purchasing agent, radical, reagent, real estate agent, rector, representative, responsible person, runner, sales agent, sea lawyer, second, secretary, selectee, self-styled lawyer, servant, sideman, sire, slave, solicitor, special agent, spokesman, spokesperson, spokeswoman, spook, spy, station agent, steersman, steward, stooge, subject, substitute, sulfacid, supercargo, supporting actor, supporting instrumentalist, surrogate, theatrical agent, ticket agent, tie, tool, toy, travel agent, trimer, undercover man, vehicle, walking delegate, wholesaler, worker


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