- an active hostility or opposition, as between unfriendly or conflicting groups: the antagonism between the liberal and the conservative parties.
- an opposing force, principle, or tendency: Her plan to become an actress met with the antagonism of her family.
- Physiology. an opposing action, as by one muscle in relation to another.
- Biochemistry, Pharmacology. the opposing action of substances, as drugs, that when taken together decrease the effectiveness of at least one of them (contrasted with synergism).
- a relationship between two species of organisms in which the individuals of each species adversely affect the other, as in competition.
- the inhibition of the growth of one type of organism by a different type that is competing for the same ecological niche.
Origin of antagonism
SynonymsSee more synonyms for antagonism on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for antagonism
Work that alienates one reader to the point of antagonism can feel like a perfect fit to another.Lars Iyer’s ‘Wittgenstein Jr.’ Plumbs the Deep Fun of Philosophical Fiction
October 1, 2014
And the antagonism sure to be generated by such racial disparities was magnified by the sheer number of cases.Ferguson Feeds Off the Poor: Three Warrants a Year Per Household
August 22, 2014
On more than one occasion, literal fights broke out behind closed doors, and the antagonism often fell along racial lines.Liberals Slam Andrew Cuomo’s Deals With New York GOP
December 9, 2012
It is important not to set out on a path of antagonism towards the leaders in Israel and Palestine.Yes He Can Make Peace
November 9, 2012
The antagonism between News Corp. and the BBC goes back a long way.Rupert Murdoch’s Battle With the BBC
March 26, 2012
The two men, formerly friends, were evidently in antagonism now.A Spirit in Prison
And stranger still—why should he put himself in antagonism to its success?
There were other reasons for the antagonism of Plato to poetry.The Republic
We write from aspiration and antagonism, as well as from experience.Essays, First Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Despite this antagonism, there exists a deep attachment to the royal house.Blood and Iron
John Hubert Greusel
- openly expressed and usually mutual opposition
- the inhibiting or nullifying action of one substance or organism on another
- physiol the normal opposition between certain muscles
- biology the inhibition or interference of growth of one kind of organism by another
Word Origin and History for antagonism
1797, from French antagonisme or directly from late Greek antagonisma, noun of action from antagonizesthai "to struggle against" (see antagonist).
- Mutual opposition in action between structures, agents, diseases, or physiological processes.mutual resistance