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a combining form with the meaning “leader, bringer,” of that named by the initial element, occurring in loanwords from Greek (demagogue; pedagogue); used also in medical terms that denote substances inducing the expulsion or secretion of that named by the initial element (cholagogue; hemagogue).
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Also -agog .

Origin of -agogue

From Greek -agōgos, -ē, -on, akin to ágein “to lead,” cognate with Latin agere “to lead, drive,” Old Norse aka “to carry, convey”

Words nearby -agogue

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does -agogue mean?

The combining form -agogue is used like a suffix meaning “leader” or “bringer.” In medical terms, it is used to name substances that cause the flow or the release of a substance. It is occasionally used in scientific and technical terms.

The form -agogue comes from Greek -agōgos, meaning “leading.” The Latin cognate of this form is agēns, “doing” or “driving,” which is the source of words such as agent and agency. To learn more, check out our entries for both words.

What are variants of –agogue?

A less-common variant of -agogue is -agog, as in hydragog. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use article for -agog.

Examples of -agogue

An example of a word you may have encountered that features -agogue is demagogue, “a person, especially a political leader, who gains power and popularity by arousing the emotions, passions, and prejudices of the people.” Demagogue comes from Greek dēmagōgós, which uses the equivalent form of -agogue.

The dem- part of the word means “people,” from Greek dêmos, while –agogue means “leader.” Demagogue literally translates to “leader (of the) people.”

What are some words that use the equivalent of the combining form -agogue in Greek?

What are some other forms that -agogue may be commonly confused with?

Not every word that ends with the exact letters -agogue, such as synagogue, is necessarily using the combining form -agogue to denote “leader.” Learn why synagogue means “temple” at our entry for the word.

Break it down!

The combining form galact- means “milk.” With this in mind, what does the term galactagogue literally mean?

How to use -agogue in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for -agogue


esp US -agog

n combining form
indicating a person or thing that leads or incites to actionpedagogue; demagogue
denoting a substance that stimulates the secretion of somethinggalactagogue

Derived forms of -agogue

-agogic, adj combining form-agogy, n combining form

Word Origin for -agogue

via Late Latin from Greek agōgos leading, from agein to lead
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012