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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Agama \Ag"a*ma\ ([a^]g"[.a]*m[.a]), n.; pl. Agamas ([a^]g"[.a]*m[.a]z). [From the Caribbean name of a species of lizard.] (Zo["o]l.) A genus of lizards, one of the few which feed upon vegetable substances; also, one of these lizards. [1913 Webster] ||


n. Any of the various small, long-tailed lizards of the subfamily ''(taxlink Agaminae family noshow=1)'', especially in genus (taxlink Acanthocercus genus noshow=1), ''Agama'', (taxlink Dendragama genus noshow=1), (taxlink Laudakia genus noshow=1), (taxlink Phrynocephalus genus noshow=1), (taxlink Trapelus genus noshow=1) and (taxlink Xenagama genus noshow=1).


n. small terrestrial lizard of warm regions of the Old World

Agama (lizard)

Agama (="unmarried") is both the genus name of a group of small, long-tailed, insectivorous Old World lizards as well as a common name for these lizards. The genus Agama is composed of at least 37 species found across Africa, where they are the most common lizard. They can be found in many sizes, from 12.5 to 30 cm (5 in. to 1 ft.) in length and a wide variety of colours. One of the best known species is Agama agama, widespread in sub-Saharan Africa. For Eurasian agamaids, see the genus Laudakia.

Agamas originally lived in forest and bush across Africa, but have since adapted to live in villages and compounds where their habitat has been cleared. They live inside the thatch of huts and other small spaces, emerging only to feed. If caught out in the open, agamas are able to run quickly on their hind legs to reach shelter. The desert agama can still be found in the dry areas of North Africa. Despite their name, they avoid bare sand.

Agamas are active during the day and are often found scampering around to snatch up their favorite foods. They can tolerate greater temperatures than most reptiles, but in the afternoon when temperatures reach around 38°C (100°F) they will settle into the shade and wait for it to cool. Frequent fighting breaks out between males; such fighting involves a lot of bobbing and weaving in an attempt to scare the opponent. If it comes to blows, they lash out with their tails and threaten each other with open jaws. Many older males have broken tails as a result of such fights. Females may sometimes chase and fight one another, while hatchlings mimic the adults in preparation for their future.

Agamas are mainly insectivores. Their incisor-like front teeth are designed for quick cutting and chewing of their prey. They may also eat grass, berries, seeds and even the eggs of smaller lizards.

Most agamas are polygamous. Males may hold six or more females in their territory for breeding. During courtship, the male bobs his head to impress the female. Occasionally, females initiate courtship by offering their hindquarters to the male and then running until he is able to catch up. The breeding season is typically March–May with eggs being laid in June–September during the season after the rains. Eggs are laid in clutches of up to 12.


Agama is a term for scriptures in Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism:

  • Āgama (Buddhism)
  • Āgama (Jainism)
  • Āgama (Hinduism)

The corresponding adjective is Agamic.

Agama can also refer to:

  • Agama (lizard), common name for lizards in the Agamidae family
  • Religion, referred to as agama in the Malay-speaking world (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei)
  • Agamic can mean a form of asexual reproduction not involving the fusion of male and female gametes
Āgama (Hinduism)

The Agamas (Sanskrit: आगम) are a collection of scriptures of several Hindu devotional schools. The term literally means tradition or "that which has come down", and the Agama texts describe cosmology, epistemology, philosophical doctrines, precepts on meditation and practices, four kinds of yoga, mantras, temple construction, deity worship and ways to attain sixfold desires. These canonical texts are in Sanskrit and in south Indian languages such as Tamil (written in Grantha script and Tamil script).

The three main branches of Agama texts are those of Shaivism (Shiva), Vaishnavism (Vishnu), Shaktism (Devi). The Agamic traditions are sometimes called Tantrism, although the term "Tantra" is usually used specifically to refer to Shakta Agamas. The Agama literature is voluminous, and includes 28 Saiva Agamas, 77 Shakta Agamas (also called Tantras), and 108 Vaishnava Agamas (also called Pancharatra Samhitas), and numerous Upa-Agamas.

The origin and chronology of Agamas is unclear. Some are Vedic and others non-Vedic. Agama traditions include Yoga and Self Realization concepts, some include Kundalini Yoga, asceticism, and philosophies ranging from Dvaita ( dualism) to Advaita ( monism). Some suggest that these are post-Vedic texts, others as pre-Vedic compositions. Epigraphical and archaeological evidence suggests that Agama texts were in existence by about middle of the 1st millennium CE, in Pallava dynasty era.

Scholars note that some passages in the Hindu Agama texts appear to repudiate the authority of the Vedas, while other passages assert that their precepts reveal the true spirit of the Vedas. The Agamas literary genre may also be found in Śramaṇic traditions (i.e. Buddhist, Jaina etc.). Bali Hindu tradition is officially called Agama Hindu Dharma in Indonesia.

Usage examples of "agama".

Tripitaka of Buddhism, the Agama of Hinduism, the Zend-Avesta of Zoroastrianism, and the Veda of Brahmanism.

The Agamas are Sutras of the hinayana, divided, according to Eitel, pp.