American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. One who opposes and contends against another; an adversary.
- n. The principal character in opposition to the protagonist or hero of a narrative or drama.
- n. Physiology A muscle that counteracts the action of another muscle, the agonist.
- n. Biochemistry A chemical substance that interferes with the physiological action of another, especially by combining with and blocking its nerve receptor.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One who contends with another in combat or in argument; an opponent; a competitor; an adversary.
- n. In anatomy, a muscle which acts in opposition to another: as, a flexor, which bends a part, is the antagonist of an extensor, which extends it. Synonyms Adversary, Antagonist, Opponent, etc. (see
adversary), opposer, rival, assailant.
- Counteracting; opposing; combating: as, antagonist forces; an antagonist muscle. The flexors and extensors of a limit, as also the abductors and adductors, have to each other the relation of antagonist muscles.
- n. An opponent or enemy.
- n. One who antagonizes or stirs.
- n. biochemistry A chemical that binds to a receptor but does not produce a physiological response, blocking the action of agonist chemicals.
- n. The main character or force opposing the protagonist in a literary work or drama.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. One who contends with another, especially in combat; an adversary; an opponent.
- n. (Anat.) A muscle which acts in opposition to another.
- n. (Med.) A medicine which opposes the action of another medicine or of a poison when absorbed into the blood or tissues.
- adj. Antagonistic; opposing; counteracting.
- n. a drug that neutralizes or counteracts the effects of another drug
- n. someone who offers opposition
- n. a muscle that relaxes while another contracts
- From Latin antagonista, from Ancient Greek ἀνταγωνιστής ("opponent") (ἀντί (anti, "against") + ἀγωνιστής (agōnistēs, "a combatant, pleader, actor")), from ἀνταγωνίζεσθαι ("antagonize"). (Wiktionary)
“About halfway through (when the main antagonist is killed) every single page was a stop-or-keep-going decision.”
“But their main antagonist is the house they are building.”
“Is it ever okay for the narrator to behave this way – where the antagonist is the protagonist?”
“But a novel has more depth and dimension when the antagonist is also seen as human by the reader.”
“But now your antagonist is a feeble girl, who has been unfortunate from her very birth; to destroy her would be an act of baseness to which you never yet descended.”
“Driving the plot is the story line of the main antagonist, "Big" Jim Rennie.”
“A good antagonist is exactly that, an equal opponent for the hero in strength, cleverness, and characterization.”
“The major antagonist is Octavius Caesar, one of Antony's fellow triumvirs and the future first emperor of Rome.”
“-- Occasionally I have had my doubts about Morgaine being Trinity's main antagonist (as opposed to, say, Circe).”
“And the second lies with the main antagonist, Nero.”
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