[ sah-guh ]
See synonyms for saga on
  1. a medieval Icelandic or Norse prose narrative of achievements and events in the history of a personage, family, etc.

  2. any narrative or legend of heroic exploits.

  1. Also called saga novel . a form of the novel in which the members or generations of a family or social group are chronicled in a long and leisurely narrative.

  2. a dramatic history of a group, place, industry, etc.: the saga of the transcontinental railroad.

  3. any very long story with dramatic events or parts: the sad saga of her life in poverty.

Origin of saga

First recorded in 1700–10; from Old Norse: literally, “story, narrative, history”; cognate with saw3

Other words for saga Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use saga in a sentence

  • For coinosseuers of literature, the sagas stories of family struggles, rivalry, and conflict rank with Homer and Shakespeare.

  • All that is known of the early voyages of the Northmen, is contained in the old Icelandic Sagas.

  • No battle is more Page 417 celebrated in the old German Sagas than this.

    Theodoric the Goth | Thomas Hodgkin
  • Perhaps the Homeric chief may have sometimes been a craftsman like the heroes of the Sagas, great sword-smiths.

    Homer and His Age | Andrew Lang
  • As examples we turn to the parallel afforded by the Icelandic sagas and their pictures of houses of the eleventh century B.C.

    Homer and His Age | Andrew Lang
  • The present author long ago pointed out the parallel of the houses in the sagas and in Homer.

    Homer and His Age | Andrew Lang

British Dictionary definitions for saga


/ (ˈsɑːɡə) /

  1. any of several medieval prose narratives written in Iceland and recounting the exploits of a hero or a family

  2. any similar heroic narrative

  1. Also called: saga novel a series of novels about several generations or members of a family

  2. any other artistic production said to resemble a saga

  3. informal a series of events or a story stretching over a long period

Origin of saga

C18: from Old Norse: a narrative; related to Old English secgan to say 1

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