- a person who is opposed to, struggles against, or competes with another; opponent; adversary.
- the adversary of the hero or protagonist of a drama or other literary work: Iago is the antagonist of Othello.
- Physiology. a muscle that acts in opposition to another.Compare agonist(def 3).
- Dentistry. a tooth in one jaw that articulates during mastication or occlusion with a tooth in the opposing jaw.
- Pharmacology. a drug that counteracts the effects of another drug.
Origin of antagonist
Synonyms for antagonistSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Antonyms for antagonist
Related Words for antagonistfoe, adversary, enemy, opposer, competitor, rival, contender, bandit, match, opponent, crip, oppugnant
Examples from the Web for antagonist
Contemporary Examples of antagonist
The second is naloxone, the antagonist, meaning that it stops the action of other opiates, like heroin.This Anti-Heroin Drug Is Now King of the Jailhouse Drug Trade
July 17, 2014
At a private meeting, he assured them that the LAPD would be their partner, not their antagonist.Was it Justice or Politics that Killled the NYPD Muslim Spy Unit?
April 16, 2014
Reliance on foreign militaries for its own integrity changes the status of Ukraine from a buffer to an antagonist.Caught Between Empires, Ukraine Can’t Rely on the West for its Independence
March 6, 2014
Fowles succeeds in humanizing his antagonist more than his protagonist.How to Understand the Criminal Mind By Reading This Novel
Casey N. Cep
December 6, 2013
You do get your ass handed to you badly in the film by the antagonist, played by Vithaya Pansringarm.Ryan Gosling and Nicolas Winding Refn on Sex, Violence & More
July 17, 2013
Historical Examples of antagonist
His intention was neither to kill nor to cripple his antagonist.The Leopard Woman
Stewart Edward White
I turned to my antagonist--it seemed that a long time had passed since I last looked at him.In the Valley
His antagonist was Dr. Gunning, ready, fluent, and impassioned.The Works of Whittier, Volume VI (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
He also saw that his antagonist was regarding him with a curious eye.
In the mind of each was growing a respect for his antagonist.
Word Origin and History for antagonist
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.
- Something, such as a muscle, disease, or physiological process, that neutralizes or impedes the action or effect of another.
- A muscle that opposes the action of another muscle, as by relaxing while the other one contracts, thereby producing smooth, coordinated movement.
- 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.