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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for antagonizing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In antagonizing you farmers, I've opened the way for the enemies of the Service to reach you.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • She was antagonizing the two boys who held the whole school in their hands.

    A Voice in the Wilderness Grace Livingston Hill
  • Nothing could possibly compensate her for antagonizing Felipe.

    Ramona Helen Hunt Jackson
  • Their antagonizing influence is encountered wherever the gospel is preached.

    The Gist of Japan R. B. Peery
  • Afraid to call your souls your own for fear of antagonizing the gang.

  • Instead of antagonizing the Japanese, we should cultivate their good will.

    Our National Defense: George Hebard Maxwell
  • "There was no one at the gate when I came in," said Mr. Gale, and his manner was antagonizing.

    Tom Swift and his Air Scout Victor Appleton
British Dictionary definitions for antagonizing


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 antagonizing



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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