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[an-tag-uh-nahyz] /ænˈtæg əˌnaɪz/
verb (used with object), antagonized, antagonizing.
to make hostile or unfriendly; make an enemy or antagonist of:
His speech antagonized many voters.
to act in opposition to; oppose.
verb (used without object), antagonized, antagonizing.
Rare. to act antagonistically.
Also, especially British, antagonise.
Origin of antagonize
First recorded in 1625-35, antagonize is from the Greek word antagōnízesthai to contend against, dispute with. See ant-, agonize
Related forms
antagonizable, adjective
antagonization, noun
reantagonize, verb (used with object), reantagonized, reantagonizing.
unantagonizable, adjective
unantagonized, adjective
unantagonizing, adjective
unantagonizingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for antagonise
Historical Examples
  • He held out his great hand to me, and, as I had no desire to antagonise him, I gave him my own.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service
  • Practical 199 considerations do not count with him when they antagonise his ideals.

    Paris and the Social Revolution Alvan Francis Sanborn
  • It might strike a wiser man in your situation that it would be worth while not to antagonise a friend who has come to serve you.

    Romance of Roman Villas

    Elizabeth W. (Elizbeth Williams) Champney
  • But it is to be recollected that the United States itself was weak, and could not be expected to antagonise Europe too deeply.

    Mexico Charles Reginald Enock
  • But this little episode need not antagonise with the normal course of ordinary business.

  • But he was careful not to agitate and antagonise those whose coperation was necessary to success.

    The Great God Success John Graham (David Graham Phillips)
  • Whatever the faults of the deceased, they were not of a nature to antagonise permanently the erring members of his own sex.

    Mrs. Balfame

    Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton
  • The friction of the interests and wills encompassing him evolved an atmosphere which he had no strength to antagonise.

    A Singer from the Sea Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
British Dictionary definitions for antagonise


verb (transitive)
to make hostile; annoy or irritate
to act in opposition to or counteract
Derived Forms
antagonizable, antagonisable, adjective
antagonization, antagonisation, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Greek antagōnizesthai, from anti- + agōnizesthai to strive, from agōn contest
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for antagonise

chiefly British English spelling of antagonize; see -ize. Related: Antagonised; antagonising.



1630s, "to compete with," from Greek antagonizesthai "to struggle against, oppose, be a rival" (see antagonist). Meaning "to struggle against continuously" is recorded from 1742. Related: Antagonized; antagonizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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