Definition of saga in US English:



  • 1A long story of heroic achievement, especially a medieval prose narrative in Old Norse or Old Icelandic.

    ‘a figure straight out of a Viking saga’
    • ‘In England, William Morris translated the Icelandic sagas and Cecil Sharp collected village dances and songs.’
    • ‘Their story, told in an Icelandic saga, neatly sums up the English experience of the Norman Conquest.’
    • ‘Oral-connected prose works such as the Mabinogion and the Norse sagas fall within the discussion, but Foley develops no distinction between the poetic and the non-poetic in the context of oral art.’
    • ‘Maybe that rumour could be added to the list of Viking myths and sagas that will feature next Friday in Bardic Adventurers!’
    • ‘The manuscripts are the source for all the major texts of Old and Middle Irish literature, such as sagas, dinnshenchas, genealogies, law tracts, and much other lore.’
    • ‘Had Guo ever read the old Icelandic sagas, she would have found the scene toward the end of The Saga of Burnt Njal quite familiar.’
    • ‘Like the earliest of the sagas, they were written in the late 12th century, and there are some textual relations between the Latin histories and the Icelandic sagas.’
    • ‘Despite all the heroic deeds in tales and sagas, a grown man would have seen a major conflict about once every twenty years.’
    • ‘However, more recent research suggests that the Jomsvikings may never have existed as the disciplined guild of warriors portrayed in the sagas.’
    • ‘The ancient sagas of Snorri Sturluson are well-known among medieval literary scholars.’
    • ‘I even read the Norse sagas and Icelandic literature and I love Celtic lore.’
    • ‘Famous swords abound in the sagas, for example Grásítha (grey-sides) and Gunnlogi (flame of battle) in Gísla's Saga.’
    • ‘Such verses are preserved mainly in the kings' sagas; many ‘lausavísur’ or occasional verses, and some love poetry are included in the narratives of family sagas.’
    • ‘There are boulders in Iceland that have historical significance as having been the stones mentioned in the sagas.’
    • ‘The sagas, legends, myths and histories which have been passed on orally or in written documents by ancient peoples are sometimes called pseudohistory.’
    • ‘The first sagas were the Norse sagas from Iceland and Scandinavia.’
    • ‘Okpewho apparently wishes to treat his narratives as a form of heroic recitation similar to the epics and heroic sagas that have been recorded elsewhere on the continent, despite the generic differences described above.’
    • ‘Because if sagas make contemporary war stories pale into nothingness, the old fairy tales make contemporary horror seem like nice, sweet stories dreamed up by the boys at Disney.’
    • ‘Action continues throughout the week with battle re-enactments, living history, Viking walks, contemporary art, Viking sagas, the Long Ship River Challenge on the Ouse, and Viking markets.’
    • ‘It had also a supporting role within several great ethno-historical myths: the Táin, the Welsh epics, the lives of saints, the Viking sagas.’
    epic, chronicle, legend, folk tale, romance, traditional story, history, narrative, adventure, fairy story, myth
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    1. 1.1 A long, involved story, account, or series of incidents.
      ‘the saga of her engagement’
      • ‘And because the Internet is so amazing you can see the whole saga here with just one click.’
      • ‘Here began a saga which though now resolved may yet have a sequel.’
      • ‘Trudeau's stated goal was to produce a work that provides ‘a comprehensive narrative of one of the most unforgettable sagas in United States history.’’
      • ‘History will not be on Blair's side, it will show that the whole saga is a great political scandal.’
      • ‘Instead, the whole saga was blown up by Microsoft's PR machine to help them avoid paying the huge fine.’
      • ‘The truth is that the Enron saga began in India many years ago, many years before I knew anything about it.’
      • ‘It's fully revised, with a new chapter taking in the whole saga of his resignation and comeback.’
      • ‘The Minister's gaffe came amidst a day of heightened pressure on all players involved in the saga.’
      • ‘Thirty seconds into the additional period came what would be the turning point of the whole saga.’
      • ‘The saga begins in London with the American hostess Barbara Heinz inviting Dorrit to lunch.’
      • ‘At least one thing came out of the whole saga, and that was that I managed to write a post that brought people to my blog.’
      • ‘Remember last year, and the whole saga of the Vicarage being saved from falling down?’
      • ‘Having heard the whole saga, I would not lay that charge at their door.’
      • ‘Later she was described as the only sane person in the whole saga.’
      • ‘The Jacobite story was one of history's longest running spy sagas.’
      • ‘Indeed Mr Jones is right to acknowledge the impact the whole saga has had on staff morale.’
      • ‘The saga began two years ago when a swimmer died after hitting his head on a submerged post in the lake.’
      • ‘I walked out thankful the whole saga was over - it is a very stressful time for footballers.’
      • ‘An account of the sorry saga appeared in a Think Secret scoop last week.’
      • ‘And so began a saga that involved the Rail Regulator and the Rail Passenger Committee.’
      rigmarole, story, lengthy explanation, lengthy statement, lengthy story
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Early 18th century: from Old Norse, literally ‘narrative’; related to saw.