[ ag-uh-nist ]
/ ˈæg ə nɪst /
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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).



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Origin of agonist

1620–30; <Late Latin agōnista<Greek agōnistḗs contestant, equivalent to agṓnagon + -istēs-ist
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for agonist

British Dictionary definitions for agonist

/ (ˈæɡənɪst) /


any muscle that is opposed in action by another muscleCompare antagonist (def. 2)
a competitor, as in an agon

Word Origin for agonist

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

Medical definitions for agonist

[ ăgə-nĭst ]


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.

Scientific definitions for agonist

[ ăgə-nĭst ]

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.