View synonyms for antagonist


[ an-tag-uh-nist ]


  1. a person who is opposed to, struggles against, or competes with another; opponent; adversary.

    Synonyms: foe, enemy, contestant

    Antonyms: friend, ally

  2. the adversary of the hero or protagonist of a drama or other literary work:

    Iago is the antagonist of Othello.

  3. Physiology. a muscle that acts in opposition to another. Compare agonist ( def 3 ).
  4. Dentistry. a tooth in one jaw that articulates during mastication or occlusion with a tooth in the opposing jaw.
  5. Pharmacology. a drug that counteracts the effects of another drug. Compare agonist ( def 4 ).


/ ænˈtæɡənɪst /


  1. an opponent or adversary, as in a contest, drama, sporting event, etc
  2. any muscle that opposes the action of another Compare agonist
  3. a drug that counteracts the effects of another drug Compare synergist


/ ăn-tăgə-nĭst /

  1. A muscle that opposes the action of another muscle, as by relaxing while the other one contracts, thereby producing smooth, coordinated movement.
  2. A chemical substance, such as a drug, that interferes with the physiological action of another substance, especially by combining with and blocking its nerve receptor.
  3. Compare agonist

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Word History and Origins

Origin of antagonist1

First recorded in 1590–1600; from Late Latin antagōnista, from Greek antagōnistḗs. See antagonize, -ist

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Synonym Study

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Example Sentences

The other two “imperfect” clones were the hero of the series, Snake, and antagonist Liquid Snake.

History remembers Lincoln and Douglas as antagonists, but they ended their relationship as allies against the greatest threat their country had faced, bonded, finally, by their shared belief in the Union.

One of the more rigorous of the old rules that is falling away is the church-state division between artists and critics, a red line that made them often seem to be antagonists.

“Devil May Cry 5” offers an entirely new playable character, and not just anyone, but Vergil, the handsome, soft-spoken brother of hero Dante and the series antagonist.

Specifically, it would allow you to frame her as counterpart instead of antagonist, and therefore risk being more vulnerable than defensive.

But few of us would recognize the name of Dietrich von Hildebrand, a German philosopher-turned-outspoken Nazi antagonist.

The second is naloxone, the antagonist, meaning that it stops the action of other opiates, like heroin.

At a private meeting, he assured them that the LAPD would be their partner, not their antagonist.

Reliance on foreign militaries for its own integrity changes the status of Ukraine from a buffer to an antagonist.

Thomas Harris tipped his hat to Fowles in The Silence of the Lambs when he created the moth-loving antagonist Jame Gumb.

This brief direction to Charley Bates and his recent antagonist to retire, was softly and immediately obeyed.

The girl—it was no other than Miss Rebecca Jones—shrank away when she recognized her antagonist.

The boats were then pulled close to one another, and each combatant endeavoured to push his antagonist into the water.

But poor Lancing was seriously handicapped by the fact that he had a woman for his antagonist.

Doctor Smith, in the estimation of the audience, easily triumphed over his antagonist, who had made this a studied subject.


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