See more synonyms for antagonistic on

Origin of antagonistic

First recorded in 1625–35; antagonist + -ic
Related formsan·tag·o·nis·ti·cal·ly, adverbnon·an·tag·o·nis·tic, adjectivenon·an·tag·o·nis·ti·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for antagonistic

inimical, unfriendly, combative, hostile

Examples from the Web for antagonistic

Contemporary Examples of antagonistic

  • Ironically, Hezbollah and its backer Iran have not always had an antagonistic relationship with al-Qaeda.

  • In Canada, relations between the federal system and the provincial system are much more fraught — often antagonistic.

  • No matter how antagonistic the question or the barb, Jackson keeps a low voice and a respectful tone.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Obama's Big Green Gun

    Michelle Cottle

    November 2, 2011

  • Facing 75 years, an air of unreality surrounds Bongiorno's antagonistic behavior.

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    Madoff's Millionaire Secretary

    Allan Dodds Frank

    December 20, 2010

  • It was bad enough in America, with all the agencies involved, which led to some antagonistic moments among them in Katrina.

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    Haiti's Grisly Problem

    Cyril Wecht

    January 19, 2010

Historical Examples of antagonistic

British Dictionary definitions for antagonistic


  1. in active opposition
  2. mutually opposed
Derived Formsantagonistically, adverb
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 antagonistic

1630s, from antagonist + -ic. Related: Antagonistical (1620s); antagonistically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper