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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun agency:


Agency is sometimes a misspelling of agencies.

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Definition of the noun agency

What does agency mean as a name of something?

Agency is one of the top 1000 most common nouns in the English language.

noun - plural: agencies

  1. an administrative unit of government
  2. a business or organization that provides a particular service, especially the mediation of transactions between two parties
  3. the state of being in action or exerting power
    • examples: the agency of providence | she has free agency
    • lexical domain: States - nouns denoting stable states of affairs
    • more generic words: action / activeness / activity = the state of being active
    • more specific word: Frankenstein = an agency that escapes control and destroys its creator
  4. the state of serving as an official and authorized delegate or agent
    • lexical domain: States - nouns denoting stable states of affairs
    • synonyms of agency: delegacy / representation
    • more generic word: state = the way something is with respect to its main attributes
    • more specific terms:
      • free agency = the state of a professional athlete who is free to negotiate a contract to play for any team
      • legal representation = personal representation that has legal status
      • virus = a harmful or corrupting agency
  5. thing or person that acts to produce a particular effect or achieve an end
    • example: an example is the best agency of instruction
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • synonyms of agency: means / way
    • more generic words: effectuation / implementation = the act of implementing
    • more specific terms:
      • dint = interchangeable with `means' in the expression `by means of'
      • escape = a means or way of escaping
      • fast track = a rapid means of achieving a goal
      • instrument / tool = the means whereby some act is accomplished
      • road = a way or means to achieve something
      • stepping stone = any means of advancement
      • expedient = a means to an end
      • desperate measure = desperate actions taken as a means to an end
      • open sesame = any very successful means of achieving a result
      • salvation = a means of preserving from harm or unpleasantness
      • tooth = a means of enforcement
      • voice = a means or agency by which something is expressed or communicated
      • wings = a means of flight or ascent

Alternative definition of the noun agency


  1. The faculty of acting or of exerting power; the state of being in action; action; instrumentality.
  2. See Agent.
  3. The office of an agent, or factor.
  4. The relation between a principal and his agent.
  5. Business of one entrusted with the concerns of another.
  6. The place of business of an agent.
  7. A bond issued by a US government-backed entity, such as Fannie Mae.

Specialised definition of the noun agency

Glossary of sports

the act of carrying out an action in a purposeful and voluntary way (2006. Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science. A&C Black Publishers Ltd)


  1. Agency is a city in Wapello County, Iowa, United States. The population was 638 at the 2010 census. It is the historic site of an Indian trading post and the grave of Chief Wapello.
  2. Agency is a village in Buchanan County, Missouri in the United States. The population was 684 at the 2010 census. It is part of the St. Joseph, MO–KS Metropolitan Statistical Area.
  3. Agency is a census-designated place in Hill County, Montana, United States. The population was 324 at the 2000 census, and 348 according to a 2007 estimate.

There are other places with in their name, like Agency 1, Crow Agency, Bajaur Agency, Khyber Agency, Agency Township, Kaw Indian Agency, Sioux Agency Township.


"Agency" a.k.a. "The Agency" is a 1980 Canadian dramatic/thriller film. It was directed by George Kaczender, with a screenplay by Noel Hynd.


  1. Agency: In sociology and philosophy, agency is the capacity of an agent to act in a world. The capacity to act does not at first imply a specific moral dimension to the ability to make the choice to act, and moral agency is therefore a distinct concept. In sociology, an agent is an individual engaging with the social structure. Notably, though, the primacy of social structure vs. individual capacity with regard to persons' actions is debated within sociology. This debate concerns, at least partly, the level of reflexivity an agent may possess.
  2. Agency: In the social sciences, agency is the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices. By contrast, structure are those factors of influence that determine or limit an agent and his or her decisions. The relative difference in influences from structure and agency is debated – it's unclear to what extent a person's actions are constrained by social systems.
  3. Agency, in Latter-day Saint theology, is "the privilege of choice which was introduced by God the Eternal Father to all of his spirit children in the premortal state". Mortal life is viewed as a test of faith, where our choices are central to the plan of salvation in Mormon teaching. "It was essential for their eternal progression that they be subjected to the influences of both good and evil". Mormons believe that Lucifer presented an alternative plan, which resulted in a war in heaven, with Lucifer being cast out of heaven and becoming Satan.
  4. Agency which created the ad.
  5. The agency which created the campaign.

Phrases with Agency

  1. agency security
  2. ad agency
  3. un agency
  4. free agency
  5. news agency
  6. press agency
  7. causal agency
  8. Dating agency
  9. Escort agency
  10. Relief Agency
  11. travel agency
  12. federal agency
  13. russian agency
  14. service agency
  15. Highways Agency
  16. Marriage Agency
  17. detective agency
  18. executive agency
  19. commercial agency
  20. employment agency

View more phrases with the word Agency in thesaurus!

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Agency

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewSelf-Care Science, Nursing Theory and Evidence-Based Practice (2011)

by Katherine Renpenning, MScN, Susan Gebhardt Taylor, MSN, PhD, FAAN

Self-care agency is the power of the person to engage in self-care behaviors; the results or product of the use of those powers...

Self-care agency is a mechanism for determining the components of the therapeutic selfcare demand as well as a ...

Google previewThe American and English Encyclopedia of Law and Practice (1909)

by William Mark McKinney, David Shephard Garland

Agency is a legal relation, founded upon the express or implied contract of the parties, or created by law, by virtue of...

98, the court approved the following definition: “Agency is the legal relation which arises when one party, ...

Google previewFeminist Locations (2001)

Global and Local, Theory and Practice by Marianne DeKoven

Agency is the space of possibilities opened up by the indeterminacies entailed in exclusions. The reworking of...

Google previewThe Management of Staff Sickness Absence in the Department for Transport and Its Agencies (2007)

by Great Britain: National Audit Office

The Agency is a trading fund with some 6,500 employees (of whom, approximately 75 per cent are administration and...

The Government Car and Despatch Agency The Agency is the first choice supplier of secure transport, distribution and ...

Google previewTime, Will, and Mental Process (2007)

by Jason W. Brown

Agency is the relation of a self to its own mental contents of which actions are one type.

Google previewPhilosophy and Theory of Artificial Intelligence (2012)

by Vincent C. Müller

Agency is a system of actions that has the capability to determine whether a certain collection of information is relevant not just for one environmental situation...

Agency is the ontological and epistemological constituent of reality and cognition.

Google previewThe National Corporation Reporter (1896)

A mercantile agency is an institution which, fora subscription price, agrees to collect information as to the financial condition...

to solve the problem as to whether a mercantile agency is the agent of a party who thus makes representations to it, ...

Google previewSociety and Language Use (2010)

by Jürgen Jaspers, Jef Verschueren, Jan-Ola Östman

Ahearn Rutgers University Agency is an abstract concept that scholars often define inadequately, if at all, but it has nevertheless become a widely used term across the humanities and social sciences. Before attempting to define the ...

Google previewOfficial Portraits and Unofficial Counterportraits of At Risk Students (2010)

Writing Spaces in Hard Times by Richard J. Meyer

Agency means acting upon one's world as an individual or collectively in some way in order to change the power dynamics, thus changing the nature of knowledge, the contexts in which it is constructed, the legitimacy of its sources, and its ...

Google previewThe Philosophy of Computer Games (2012)

by John Richard Sageng, Hallvard J. Fossheim, Tarjei Mandt Larsen

Insofar as purposive agency is the sufficient condition for having moral rights and insofar as the virtual agency of...

real world, it makes no difference, in principle at least, whether the purposive agency is that of real persons or that of avatars.

Google previewEnvironmental Sciences (2008)

A Student's Companion by K J Gregory, Ian Simmons, Anthony Brazel, John W Day, Edward A Keller, Alejandro Yanez-Arancibia, Arthur G Sylvester

The leading agency is the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) which collects data, provides information and encourages action across the whole field of environmental processes in atmospheric and terrestrial ecosystems as ...

Google previewThe Young Woman's Journal (1922)

Divine agency is the link which officially connects the now with the ...

Google previewHandbook of Research on Strategy and Foresight (2008)

by Laura Anna Costanzo, Robert Bradley MacKay

Agency is a central theme in change management scholarship. However, we demonstrate in this chapter that change...

Google previewUprooting and Development (2013)

Dilemmas of Coping with Modernization by George V. Coelho

We favor happiness and formal democracy; but our focus is on coping with uprootedness, and though happiness or voting may reflect an ability to cope, moral agency is a precondition of the possibility of any coping at all. By these assertions ...

Google previewDictionary of Marketing Communications (2004)

by Norman A. P. Govoni

airport display 9 agency megabrand the huge parent organization of a group of several individual advertising agencies...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Finance (2006)

by Cheng-Few Lee

Agency Bond Bonds issued by federal agencies such as Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA) and government/government-sponsored enterprises such as Small Business Administration (SBA). An Agency bond is a direct ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Public Relations (2013)

by Robert L. Heath

Moreover, the agency tenure of an AE is directly linked to the maintenance of that relationship...

Ledingham See also Account Manager/Account Management; Client–Agency Relationships; Public Relations Agency Further Readings ...

Google previewDictionary of Health Insurance and Managed Care (2006)

by David E. Marcinko, MBA, CFP, CMP

AGENCY: The legal relationship empowering one party to act on behalf of another in dealing with third parties. A health or life insurance agent does not generally have the authority to bind the insurance company. See Agent and Broker.

Google previewJapan at War: An Encyclopedia (2013)

An Encyclopedia by Louis G. Perez

The Domei News Agency (Domei Tsushinsha) was wartime Japan's national representative news agency from 1936 to 1945. It was formed through the merger of two major news agencies, Nihon Denpo Tsushinsha (Japan telegraph news ...

Google previewThe Insurance Almanac and Encyclopedia (1918)

NEW YORK UNDERWRITERS AGENCY, N. Y.-Hartford Fire, Hartford, Conn. NEW ZEALAND UNDERWRITERS' AGENCY, Auckland.—New Zealand. NIAGARA-DETROIT, UNDERWRITERS, New York, N. Y.-Niagara Fire, Detroit Fire and ...

Google previewWorkers in America: A Historical Encyclopedia [2 volumes] (2013)

by Robert E. Weir

AG E N C Y F E E An agency fee, also called a “fair shop fee” or an “agency shop ...

Google previewInternet Security Dictionary (2002)

by Vir V. Phoha


Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Agency

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Photos about Agency

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Small photo of Top view at creative agency. A grey haired man working on his computer, sitting at a white desk on a colored chair. Focus on the tableSmall photo of agency word written on wood blockSmall photo of Designer's Desk - Creative Design AgencySmall photo of Creative web designer desk - Design Agency InteriorSmall photo of Blogger Hipster use Notebook Agency Loft Studio.Student Researching Process Home.Young Woman Working Business Startup modern Office.Analyze new creative market strategy.Blurred,film effect.HorizontalSmall photo of HELSINKI FINLAND 09 27 2015: Law enforcement in Finland is the responsibility of several agencies. The national police agency.The two other main agencies are the Border Guard and the customs serviceSmall photo of Agency - Hand pressing a button on blurred background concept . Business, technology, internet concept. Stock Photo More...

Videos about Agency

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View more videos about Free Agency, News agency, Press Agency, Dating agency, Relief Agency, Travel agency, Highways Agency, Marriage Agency, Detective Agency, Syndication Agency, and Intelligence agency.

See also the pronunciation examples of Agency!

Sign language

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Quotes about Agency

The vice-president of an advertising agency is a bit of executive fungus that forms on a desk that has been exposed to conference. (Fred Allen)
more quotes about agency...

Scrabble value of A1G2E1N1C3Y4

The value of this 6-letter word is 12 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of AGENCY

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