Definition of AGENCY


Agency is a noun that denotes the capacity or ability of individuals or entities to act independently, make choices, and exert influence or control over their own lives or surroundings. It represents the power to initiate action, make decisions, and shape outcomes in accordance with one’s intentions, goals, or values.

Noun – Capacity for Action: As a noun, agency refers to the inherent capability or autonomy possessed by individuals, groups, organizations, or systems to engage in purposeful action and effect change. It encompasses the freedom and empowerment to pursue one’s interests, navigate challenges, and exercise self-determination.

Noun – Exercise of Choice: Agency involves the exercise of choice and decision-making in various contexts, from personal matters such as career paths, relationships, and lifestyle choices to broader social, political, and economic spheres. It reflects the ability to evaluate options, weigh consequences, and take responsibility for one’s actions.

Noun – Influence and Control: Having agency implies the ability to exert influence or control over one’s environment, circumstances, or outcomes, either individually or collectively. It encompasses the capacity to advocate for change, negotiate power dynamics, and challenge systems of oppression or injustice that may constrain individual or collective agency.

Noun – Empowerment and Advocacy: Empowering individuals and communities to exercise their agency is essential for fostering resilience, equity, and social justice. It involves providing resources, opportunities, and support structures that enable individuals to assert their rights, voice their concerns, and participate meaningfully in decision-making processes.

Challenges to Agency: Despite its importance, agency can be hindered or constrained by various factors, including systemic barriers, discrimination, socioeconomic inequalities, cultural norms, and power imbalances. Overcoming these challenges requires collective efforts to dismantle oppressive structures and create inclusive, empowering environments that respect and uphold individual agency.

In conclusion, agency is a noun that embodies the capacity for individuals or entities to act autonomously, make choices, and influence outcomes in their lives and communities. It represents a fundamental aspect of human dignity, empowerment, and self-expression, essential for fostering individual well-being, social justice, and collective flourishing. By recognizing and supporting the agency of all people, we can create a more inclusive, equitable, and participatory society where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and contribute to positive change.

Examples of AGENCY in a sentence

  • The government agency oversees environmental regulations and policies to protect natural resources.
  • An advertising agency assists companies in developing marketing strategies and campaigns to promote their products and services.
  • The humanitarian agency provides aid and assistance to refugees and displaced persons in crisis situations.
  • A literary agency represents authors and their works, negotiating publishing deals and rights on their behalf.
  • The detective uncovered evidence of collusion between the crime syndicate and corrupt agency officials.
  • The government’s policies limited the agency of citizens to participate in decision-making processes.
  • Agency is a fundamental aspect of human dignity and self-determination.
  • The protagonist’s struggle for agency forms the central theme of the novel.
  • Sociologists study the dynamics of power and agency within social structures.

Etymology of AGENCY

The term “agency” originates from the Latin word “agens,” which means “to do” or “to act.” Here’s the breakdown:

  • Agens: In Latin, “agens” is the present participle of the verb “agere,” which means “to do” or “to act.” It denotes someone or something that is actively engaged in performing actions or exerting influence.
  • Agency: Over time, “agency” evolved to refer to the capacity or ability to act or exert power to achieve goals or produce effects. It can also denote an organization or entity that acts on behalf of others, representing their interests or providing specific services.

Therefore, “agency” can refer to both the capacity for action or the organization that carries out actions. It emphasizes the concept of active involvement, influence, or intervention in bringing about desired outcomes or effects. In various contexts, “agency” can denote the ability of individuals or groups to make choices, exercise control, or effect change, as well as the organizations or entities responsible for carrying out specific tasks, functions, or services on behalf of others.


  • Organization
  • Bureau
  • Department
  • Firm
  • Company
  • Establishment
  • Office
  • Authority


  • Individual
  • Person
  • Independent
  • Self
  • Solo
  • Alone
  • Dissociated
  • Isolated


  • Authority
  • Power
  • Franchise
  • Influence
  • Control
  • Jurisdiction
  • Administration
  • Representation

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