Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

antagonist

[an-tag-uh-nist]
See more synonyms for antagonist on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a person who is opposed to, struggles against, or competes with another; opponent; adversary.
  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.
Show More

Origin of antagonist

1590–1600; < Late Latin antagōnista < Greek antagōnistḗs. See antagonize, -ist
Can be confusedantagonist proponent protagonist

Synonyms for antagonist

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com

Synonym study

1. See adversary.

Antonyms for antagonist

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for antagonist

foe, adversary, enemy, opposer, competitor, rival, contender, bandit, match, opponent, crip, oppugnant

Examples from the Web for antagonist

Contemporary Examples of antagonist

Historical Examples of antagonist


British Dictionary definitions for antagonist

antagonist

noun
  1. an opponent or adversary, as in a contest, drama, sporting event, etc
  2. any muscle that opposes the action of anotherCompare agonist (def. 1)
  3. a drug that counteracts the effects of another drugCompare synergist (def. 1)
Show More
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 antagonist

n.

1590s, from French antagoniste (16c.) or directly from Late Latin antagonista, from Greek antagonistes "competitor, opponent, rival," agent noun from antagonizesthai "to struggle against, oppose, be a rival," from anti- "against" (see anti-) + agonizesthai "to contend for a prize," from agon "contest" (see agony). Originally in battle or sport, extended 1620s to any sphere of human activity.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

antagonist in Medicine

antagonist

(ăn-tăgə-nĭst)
n.
  1. Something, such as a muscle, disease, or physiological process, that neutralizes or impedes the action or effect of another.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

antagonist in Science

antagonist

[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. Compare agonist.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.