from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The character second in importance to the protagonist in classical Greek drama.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A person in a secondary role, specifically the second most important character (after the protagonist).
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In the Gr. drama, an actor who played the second part, after that of the protagonist.
Greek deuteragōnistēs, an actor of second-class parts : deuteros, second; see deu-1 in Indo-European roots + agōnistēs, actor; see protagonist.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Ancient Greek δευτεραγωνιστής (deuteragonistes, literally "second actor"), originally in Greek drama, from ἀγωνιστής (agōnistēs, "a combatant, pleader, actor"). (Wiktionary)