AskDefine | Define agent

Dictionary Definition



1 an active and efficient cause; capable of producing a certain effect; "their research uncovered new disease agents"
2 a substance that exerts some force or effect
3 a representative who acts on behalf of other persons or organizations
4 a businessman who buys or sells for another in exchange for a commission [syn: factor, broker]
5 any agent or representative of a federal agency or bureau [syn: federal agent]
6 the semantic role of the animate entity that instigates or causes the hapening denoted by the verb in the clause [syn: agentive role]

User Contributed Dictionary



From etyl la agentem.


  • /'eɪ.ʤɛnt/


  1. One who exerts power, or has the power to act; an actor.
    Heaven made us agents, free to good or ill. --Dryden.
  2. One who acts for, or in the place of, another, by authority from him; one intrusted with the business of another; a substitute; a deputy; a factor.
  3. An active power or cause; that which has the power to produce an effect; as, a physical, chemical, or medicinal agent; as, heat is a powerful agent.
  4. In the client-server model, the part of the system that performs information preparation and exchange on behalf of a client or server. Especially in the phrase “intelligent agent” it implies some kind of automatic process which can communicate with other agents to perform some collective task on behalf of one or more humans.

Related terms


one who exerts power
one who acts in place of another
  • Crimean Tatar: agent
  • Danish: agent
  • Dutch: vertegenwoordiger, agent
  • French: agent
  • German: Agent
  • Hebrew: סוכן (sokhen) , סוכנת (sokhenet)
  • Hungarian: ügynök, képviselő
  • Italian: agente
  • Japanese: 代理人 (dairinin)
  • Korean: 대리인 (daeriin)
  • Norwegian: agent
  • Portuguese: agente
  • Russian: агент
  • Spanish: agente
  • trreq Swedish
  • trreq Turkish
active power or cause
  • Italian: agente
  • Portuguese: agente
part of the system that performs information preparation and exchange on behalf of a client or server
  • Portuguese: agente

See also

Crimean Tatar


agentis - acting.


  1. agent


Derived terms


Useinov-Mireev 2002}}



Extensive Definition

An agent is either an entity who is capable of action or an agent is something or someone which acts on behalf of another person.
Agent can mean:

In espionage and law enforcement

In chemistry and warfare:

In linguistics

  • Agent (grammar), one of the thematic roles: the participant of a situation that carries out an action. Replaces "subject" in placement typology.
  • Agent noun (or nomen agentis), one of the derivatemes (a topic from linguistic morphology)

In computer science

In fiction

In finance

  • Agent, a financial institution acting as the operational intermediary in a syndicated loan between the syndicate banks and the borrower. The most common form is the "Administrative Agent".

In popular culture

agent in Arabic: عميل
agent in Bulgarian: Агент
agent in Danish: Agent
agent in German: Agent
agent in Spanish: Agente
agent in French: Agent
agent in Italian: Agente
agent in Lithuanian: Agentas
agent in Hungarian: Ügynök
agent in Dutch: Agent
agent in Japanese: エージェント
agent in Norwegian: Agent
agent in Polish: Agent
agent in Russian: Агент
agent in Simple English: Agent
agent in Serbian: Агент
agent in Finnish: Agentti
agent in Swedish: Agent
agent in Urdu: سازندہ

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Charlie McCarthy, Federal, acid, acidity, acolyte, activator, actor, adjutant, administrator, advocate, agency, aid, aide, aide-de-camp, aider, alkali, alkalinity, alloisomer, amanuensis, amicus curiae, ancilla, anion, antacid, appliance, appointee, architect, assignee, assistant, atom, attendant, attorney, attorney-at-law, author, auxiliary, baggage agent, barrister, barrister-at-law, base, begetter, beginner, best man, biochemical, broker, business agent, buyer, candidate, catalyst, cation, cause, causer, channel, chemical, chemical element, chromoisomer, claim agent, clerk, coadjutant, coadjutor, coadjutress, coadjutrix, commercial agent, commission agent, commissionaire, commissioner, compound, conductor, connection, consignee, contrivance, copolymer, counsel, counselor, counselor-at-law, creator, creature, customer agent, delegate, deputy, device, dimer, directeur, director, distributor, doer, driver, dummy, dupe, effector, element, emissary, energizer, engenderer, engineer, envoy, executant, executive, executive officer, executor, executrix, fabricator, factor, father, fed, federal agent, force, freight agent, friend at court, front, front man, functionary, general agent, generator, go-between, governor, handler, handmaid, handmaiden, heavy chemicals, help, helper, helpmate, helpmeet, high polymer, homopolymer, hydracid, implement, impresario, ingredient, inorganic chemical, inspirer, instigator, instrument, instrumentality, instrumentation, insurance agent, intendant, interagent, interceder, intercessor, intermediary, intermediate, intermediate agent, intermediator, intermedium, internuncio, intervener, interventionist, interventor, ion, isomer, jobber, land agent, law agent, lawyer, legal adviser, legal counselor, legal expert, legal practitioner, legalist, legate, lever, liaison, licensee, lieutenant, link, literary agent, loan agent, macromolecule, maker, manager, manipulator, means, mechanism, mediary, mediator, medium, metamer, middleman, midwife, minion, minister, ministry, molecule, monomer, mother, mouthpiece, mover, negotiant, negotiator, negotiatress, negotiatrix, neutralizer, news agent, nominee, nonacid, official, ombudsman, operant, operative, operator, organ, organic chemical, originator, oxyacid, paranymph, paraprofessional, parent, parliamentary agent, passenger agent, pawn, performer, perpetrator, pilot, plaything, pleader, polymer, power, practitioner, press agent, prime mover, primum mobile, proctor, procurator, producer, proxy, pseudoisomer, puppet, purchasing agent, radical, reagent, real estate agent, rector, representative, responsible person, runner, sales agent, sea lawyer, second, secretary, selectee, self-styled lawyer, servant, sideman, sire, slave, solicitor, special agent, spokesman, spokesperson, spokeswoman, spook, spy, station agent, steersman, steward, stooge, subject, substitute, sulfacid, supercargo, supporting actor, supporting instrumentalist, surrogate, theatrical agent, ticket agent, tie, tool, toy, travel agent, trimer, undercover man, vehicle, walking delegate, wholesaler, worker
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