a person or business authorized to act on another's behalf: Our agent in Hong Kong will ship the merchandise. A best-selling author needs a good agent.
a person or thing that acts or has the power to act.
a natural force or object producing or used for obtaining specific results: Many insects are agents of fertilization.
an active cause; an efficient cause.
a person who works for or manages an agency.
a person who acts in an official capacity for a government or private agency, as a guard, detective, or spy: an FBI agent; the secret agents of a foreign power.
a person responsible for a particular action: Who was the agent of this deed?
Grammar. a form or construction, usually a noun or noun phrase, denoting an animate being that performs or causes the action expressed by the verb, as the police in The car was found by the police.
a representative of a business firm, especially a traveling salesperson; canvasser; solicitor.
Chemistry. a substance that causes a reaction.
Pharmacology. a drug or chemical capable of eliciting a biological response.
Pathology. any microorganism capable of causing disease.
British. a campaign manager; an election agent.
acting; exerting power (opposed to patient ).
verb (used with object)
to represent (a person or thing) as an agent; act as an agent for: to agent a manuscript; Who agented that deal?

1570–80; < Latin agent- (stem of agēns (present participle) doing), equivalent to ag- (root of agere to do) + -ent- -ent

counteragent, noun
interagent, noun
superagent, noun
underagent, noun

1. representative, deputy. 3. means. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
agent (ˈeɪdʒənt)
1.  a person who acts on behalf of another person, group, business, government, etc; representative
2.  a person or thing that acts or has the power to act
3.  a phenomenon, substance, or organism that exerts some force or effect: a chemical agent
4.  the means by which something occurs or is achieved; instrument: wind is an agent of plant pollination
5.  a person representing a business concern, esp a travelling salesman
6.  (Brit) short for estate agent
7.  short for secret agent
[C15: from Latin agent-, noun use of the present participle of agere to do]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 15c., "one who acts," from L. agentem (nom. agens, gen. agentis), prp. of agere "to set in motion, drive, lead, conduct" (see act). Meaning "any natural force or substance which produces a phenomenon" is first recorded 1570s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

agent a·gent (ā'jənt)
A force or substance, such as a chemical, that causes a change.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
agent   (ā'jənt)  Pronunciation Key 
A substance that can bring about a chemical reaction or a biological effect. Compare reagent.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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