Vicarious vs Agent - What's the difference?

vicarious | agent |

As an adjective vicarious

is experienced or gained by the loss or to the consequence of another, such as through watching or reading.

As a noun agent is

agent (intermediary for certain services, such as for artistic performances or public relations).




  • Experienced or gained by the loss or to the consequence of another, such as through watching or reading.
  • People experience vicarious pleasures through watching television.
  • Done on behalf of others
  • The concept of vicarious atonement, that one person can atone for the sins of another, is found in many religions.


    {{timeline, 1800s=1886, 1900s=1900 1920}} * 1886 — ch 10 *: The pleasures which I made haste to seek in my disguise were, as I have said, undignified; I would scarce use a harder term. But in the hands of Edward Hyde, they soon began to turn toward the monstrous. When I would come back from these excursions, I was often plunged into a kind of wonder at my vicarious depravity. * 1900 — ch 26 *: As time went on, the cruel custom was so far mitigated that a ram was accepted as a vicarious sacrifice in room of the royal victim. * 1920 — ch III *: In these, however, he had not much time to indulge, for a footman, still decked in the trappings of vicarious grief, opened the door with the most startling promptitude, and he was ushered upstairs into a small but richly furnished room.

    Derived terms

    * vicarious atonement * vicarious learning * vicarious liability * vicarious reinforcement



    (wikipedia agent)


    (en noun)
  • One who exerts power, or has the power to act; an actor.
  • Heaven made us agents , free to good or ill. --Dryden.
  • One who acts for, or in the place of, another (the principal), by authority from him; one intrusted with the business of another; a substitute; a deputy; a factor.
  • I see in him [Moby Dick] outrageous strength, with an inscrutable malice sinewing it. That inscrutable thing is chiefly what I hate; and be the white whale agent , or be the white whale principal, I will wreak that hate upon him. --Herman Melville, , ch. 36
  • 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.
  • (computing) 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 autonomous process which can communicate with other agents to perform some collective task on behalf of one or more humans.
  • (grammar) The participant of a situation that carries out the action in this situation, e.g. "the boy" in the sentences "The boy kicked the ball" and "The ball was kicked by the boy".
  • Synonyms

    * See also


    * (grammar) patient

    Derived terms

    * Agent Orange * agent noun * anti-caking agent * antibacterial agent * anticaking agent * antimicrobial agent * bleaching agent * bonding agent * chelating agent * chemical agent * clarifying agent * cleaning agent * coating agent * double agent * firming agent * flavoring agent * flavouring agent * gelling agent * leavening agent * lifting agent * oxidizing agent * processing agent * purchasing agent * raising agent * reducing agent * secret agent * sourcing agent * structuring agent * thickening agent * travel agent * user agent * wetting agent * whitening agent

    See also

    * proxy


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