[ ah-gahr, ag-er ]
/ ˈɑ gɑr, ˈæg ər /


Also a·gar-a·gar. Also called Chinese gelatin, Chinese isinglass, Japanese gelatin, Japanese isinglass. a gelatinlike product of certain seaweeds, used for solidifying certain culture media, as a thickening agent for ice cream and other foods, as a substitute for gelatin, in adhesives, as an emulsifier, etc.
Biology. a culture medium having an agar base.

Nearby words

  1. aganglionosis,
  2. agapanthus,
  3. agape,
  4. agapetus i,
  5. agapetus ii,
  6. agaric,
  7. agaric acid,
  8. agaric mineral,
  9. agaricaceous,
  10. agaricin

Origin of agar

First recorded in 1885–90, agar is from the Malay word agaragar seaweed from which a gelatin is rendered, or the gelatin itself Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for agar-agar

British Dictionary definitions for agar-agar


/ (ˈeɪɡə) /


a complex gelatinous carbohydrate obtained from seaweeds, esp those of the genus Gelidium, used as a culture medium for bacteria, a laxative, in food such as ice cream as a thickening agent (E406), etcAlso called: agar-agar

Word Origin for agar

C19: Malay

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

Medicine definitions for agar-agar


[ āgär′, ägär′ ]


A gelatinous material derived from marine algae, used as a base for bacterial culture media and as a stabilizer and thickener in food.
A culture medium containing this material.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for agar-agar


[ āgär′, ägär′ ]

A gelatinous material obtained from marine algae, especially seaweed, used as a medium for growing bacterial cultures in the laboratory and as a thickener and stabilizer in food products.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.