[ ey-juhn-see ]
See synonyms for agency on
noun,plural a·gen·cies.
  1. an organization, company, or bureau that provides a particular service: We are a nonprofit agency for people experiencing food insecurity.

  2. a company having a franchise to represent another: Perhaps we should be looking for a new advertising agency.

  1. a governmental bureau or administrative division, or an office that represents it: My internship at the FDA led to job opportunities with other federal agencies.

  2. the place of business of an agent: If you stop by the agency tomorrow, we can go over the details of the land sale.

  3. the duty or function of an agent.

  4. the relationship between a principal and an agent: Investment firms must incentivize proper agency so that fund managers prioritize the investor’s interests over their own.

  5. the state of being in action or of exerting power; operation: the agency of divine Providence.

  6. the capacity to act or exert power: We may have our free agency, but we are responsible for our choices.

  7. a means of exerting power or influence; instrumentality: nominated by the agency of friends.

Origin of agency

First recorded in 1650–60; from Medieval Latin agentia “ability,” from Latin ag(ere) “to do, drive” + -entia -ency

Other words for agency

Other words from agency

  • sub·a·gen·cy, noun, plural sub·a·gen·cies.
  • un·der·a·gen·cy, noun, plural un·der·a·gen·cies. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use agency in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for agency


/ (ˈeɪdʒənsɪ) /

nounplural -cies
  1. a business or other organization providing a specific service: an employment agency

  2. the place where an agent conducts business

  1. the business, duties, or functions of an agent

  2. action, power, or operation: the agency of fate

  3. intercession or mediation

  4. one of the administrative organizations of a government

Origin of agency

C17: from Medieval Latin agentia, from Latin agere to do

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