The original name for 5H-point type. Originally, type size was expressed using names, not numbers. Although this tradition is no longer in use, the term agate is still used to refer to 5H-point type, especially when describing the type used in newspaper classified advertising.
Newspapers also used agate type to measure display advertising as a means of determining ad rates. There are 14 agate lines per inch. Ad rates are typically "per line, per column," thus a 2-column, 2-inch ad would be 56 agate lines (2 x 14 x 2 = 56). The width of the column commonly depends on the newspaper.
Although the smallest type typically used is 6-point, agate is used by newspapers to squeeze more text on a page but, due to its decreased size and reduced legibility, is not commonly recommended.