agon

noun
\ˈä-ˌgän, ˈa-, ä-ˈgōn \

Definition of agon 

: conflict especially : the dramatic conflict between the chief characters in a literary work

Anon and Greek History

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.

First Known Use of agon

1600, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for agon

borrowed from Greek agṓn "gathering, assembly, contest" — more at agony

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about agon

Listen to Our Podcast about agon

Dictionary Entries near agon

a-go-go

-agogue

agoho

agon

agonal

agone

agoniada

Statistics for agon

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for agon

The first known use of agon was in 1600

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on agon

See words that rhyme with agon

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about agon

Comments on agon

What made you want to look up agon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!