protagonist

[ proh-tag-uh-nist ]
/ proʊˈtæg ə nɪst /

noun

the leading character, hero, or heroine of a drama or other literary work.
a proponent for or advocate of a political cause, social program, etc.
the leader or principal person in a movement, cause, etc.
the first actor in ancient Greek drama, who played not only the main role, but also other roles when the main character was offstage.Compare deuteragonist, tritagonist.
Physiology. agonist.

Origin of protagonist

1665–75; < Greek prōtagōnistḗs actor who plays the first part, literally, first combatant, equivalent to prôt(os) first + agōnistḗs one who contends for a prize, combatant, actor. See proto-, antagonist

OTHER WORDS FROM protagonist

pro·tag·o·nism, noun

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH protagonist

antagonist proponent protagonist
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for protagonist

British Dictionary definitions for protagonist

protagonist
/ (prəʊˈtæɡənɪst) /

noun

the principal character in a play, story, etc
a supporter, esp when important or respected, of a cause, political party, etc

Derived forms of protagonist

protagonism, noun

Word Origin for protagonist

C17: from Greek prōtagōnistēs, from prōtos first + agōnistēs actor
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

Culture definitions for protagonist

protagonist
[ (proh-tag-uh-nist) ]

The principal character in a literary work. Hamlet, for example, is the protagonist of the play by William Shakespeare that bears his name.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.