Definition of agon
: conflict; especially : the dramatic conflict between the chief characters in a literary work
agon was our Word of the Day on 11/01/2012. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
Agon comes from the Greek word agōn, which is translated with a number of meanings, among them "contest," "competition at games," and "gathering." In ancient Greece, agons (also spelled "agones") were contests held during public festivals. The contests-among them the ancient Olympics that our modern Olympics is modeled on-involved everything from athletics to chariot and horse racing to music and literature. "Agon" in the realm of literature refers to the dramatic conflict between the main characters in a Greek play, or more broadly, between the chief characters in any literary work. The word is also occasionally used to refer to conflict generally, as in our first example sentence.
Origin and Etymology of agon
First Known Use: 1600
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