agonistic was our Word of the Day on 09/04/2013. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of agonistic in a Sentence
clearly a writer with a chip on his shoulder, he's very agonistic even when stating indisputable facts
Did You Know?
Agonistic has its roots in ancient Greece-specifically in the agonistic (to use the oldest sense of the word) athletic contests called agons featured at public festivals. From physical conflict to verbal jousting, "agonistic" came to be used as a synonym for "argumentative" and later to mean "striving for effect" or "strained." Common current use, however, is biological, relating to confrontational interaction among animals of the same species and the responsive behaviors-such as aggression, flight, or submission-they exhibit. "Agonistic" is also sometimes used to describe an agonist muscle, a muscle that on contracting is automatically checked and controlled by an opposing muscle, that other muscle being an "antagonist." For example, during a bicep curl in weight lifting, the (contracted) bicep is the agonistic muscle and the (relaxed) triceps muscle is the antagonist.
First Known Use of agonistic
Synonymsaggressive, belligerent, argumentative, assaultive, bellicose, brawly, chippy, combative, confrontational, contentious, discordant, disputatious, feisty, gladiatorial, militant, pugnacious, quarrelsome, scrappy, truculent, warlike
Antonymsnonaggressive, nonbelligerent, pacific, peaceable, peaceful, unbelligerent, uncombative, uncontentious
Related Wordsantagonistic, fierce, hostile, hot-tempered; acidic, bearish, bilious, bristly, choleric, crabby, cranky, cross, disagreeable, dyspeptic, fractious, fretful, grouchy, grumpy, huffy, ill-humored, ill-natured, ill-tempered, irascible, irritable, ornery, peevish, pettish, petulant, prickly, querulous, rude, snappish, snappy, stroppy [British], surly, testy, touchy, ugly, waspish; savage, vicious; battling, fighting, warring
Near Antonymsanti-imperialist, antimilitarist, unwarlike; affable, amiable, amicable, benevolent, complaisant, conciliatory, cordial, easygoing, friendly, genial, good-natured, good-tempered, gracious, ingratiating, kindhearted, obliging, pleasant, sociable; calm, quiet, relaxed, serene, tranquil; benign, gentle, kindly, mild
medical Definition of agonistic
- agonistic behavior
Seen and Heard
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