- 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
Historical Examples of 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
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
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.