Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To incur the dislike of; provoke hostility or enmity in: antagonized her officemates with her rude behavior.
  • transitive v. To counteract.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To work against; oppose; especially to incite reaction.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To act in opposition.
  • transitive v. To contend with; to oppose actively; to counteract.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To act in opposition to; oppose; counteract; hinder.
  • To act antagonistically or in opposition.
  • Also spelled antagonise.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. provoke the hostility of
  • v. act in opposition to

Etymologies

Greek antagōnizesthai, to struggle against : anti-, anti- + agōnizesthai, to struggle (from agōn, contest; see agony).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • If he does not reply promptly he must pay a forfeit or he must pay a forfeit if he uses a word which would show disloyalty to his country such as antagonize it, abhor it, etc. etc.

    Games For All Occasions

  • First, Germany, Italy, and France do not support either NATO or EU enlargement, although it is only the former that is usually considered likely to "antagonize" Russia.

    Jamestown Foundation: All Publications

  • But the media and tech worlds want to know: Will the FCC propose other bold changes that might antagonize large companies, including broadband giants Comcast and Verizon, or will it try to accommodate them with relatively moderate reforms?

    Media Morning: Will the FCC get tough or play nice with broadband providers?

  • The FCC may antagonize another powerful lobby, broadcasters, if it offers an ambitious plan to get some of the airwave spectrum they control and turn it over to providers of wireless broadband services.

    Media Morning: Will the FCC get tough or play nice with broadband providers?

  • Not a problem in deafening Vancouver, or Boston, where the Boston Globe actually asked Bruins fans to calm down and not antagonize visiting Canucks fans so much.

    Playoff Fireworks, Minus the Stargazing

  • To say no will show that he does not support the military and to say yes will antagonize him base, the left.

    Axelrod slams Romney

  • O.K., Mr. Netanyahu has a strategy: Do nothing vis-à-vis the Palestinians or Turkey that will require him to go against his base, compromise his ideology or antagonize his key coalition partner, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, an extreme right-winger.

    MJ Rosenberg: Even Tom Friedman Says It's the Lobby

  • Because the Obama administration entertained this hope that we could negotiate with the regime, and therefore we didn't want to antagonize them. ...

    The bin Laden Raid and the 'Virtues of Boldness'

  • Why antagonize somebody who explicitly said yesterday he IS going to close the place down and has not announced through back channels that in the first week he is going to sign an order signifying that.

    All | ATTACKERMAN

  • So I thought I'd try to set the record straight even if the result is that I antagonize some folks who seem to regard me as an ally.

    Alfie Kohn: Criticizing (Common Criticisms of) Praise

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