- a person engaged in a contest, conflict, struggle, etc., especially the protagonist in a literary work.
- a person who is torn by inner conflict.
- Physiology. a contracting muscle whose action is opposed by another muscle.Compare antagonist(def 3).
- Pharmacology. a chemical substance capable of activating a receptor to induce a full or partial pharmacological response.Compare antagonist(def 5).
Origin of agonist
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for agonist
Agonist, ag′o-nist, n. one who contends for a prize in public games.
- any muscle that is opposed in action by another muscleCompare antagonist (def. 2)
- a competitor, as in an agon
C17: from Greek agōn agon
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
Word Origin and History for agonist
1876, in writings on Greek drama, from Greek agonistes, literally "combatant in the games" (see agony).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A contracting muscle that is resisted or counteracted by an antagonistic muscle.
- A substance that can combine with a cell receptor to produce a reaction typical for that substance.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- A muscle that actively contracts to produce a desired movement.
- A chemical substance, especially a drug, that can combine with a receptor on a cell to produce a physiologic response. Compare antagonist.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.