antagonism

play
noun an·tag·o·nism \ an-ˈta-gə-ˌni-zəm \

Definition of antagonism

1 a :opposition of a conflicting force, tendency, or principle
  • the antagonism of democracy to dictatorship
b :actively expressed opposition or hostility
  • antagonism between factions
  • personal antagonism
2 :opposition in physiological action; especially :interaction of two or more substances such that the action of any one of them on living cells or tissues is lessened

Examples of antagonism in a Sentence

  1. The region has a long history of ethnic antagonisms.

  2. the antagonism between them was so bad they couldn't even sit near each other

Recent Examples of antagonism from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'antagonism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of antagonism

Synonym Discussion of antagonism

enmity, hostility, antipathy, antagonism, animosity, rancor, animus mean deep-seated dislike or ill will. enmity suggests positive hatred which may be open or concealed.
    • an unspoken enmity
hostility suggests an enmity showing itself in attacks or aggression.
    • hostility between the two nations
antipathy and antagonism imply a natural or logical basis for one's hatred or dislike, antipathy suggesting repugnance, a desire to avoid or reject, and antagonism suggesting a clash of temperaments leading readily to hostility.
    • a natural antipathy for self-seekers
    • antagonism between the brothers
animosity suggests intense ill will and vindictiveness that threaten to kindle hostility.
    • animosity that led to revenge
rancor is especially applied to bitter brooding over a wrong.
    • rancor filled every line of his letters
animus adds to animosity the implication of strong prejudice.
    • objections devoid of personal animus

ANTAGONISM Defined for English Language Learners

antagonism

play
noun

Definition of antagonism for English Language Learners

  • : a strong feeling of dislike or hatred : a desire to oppose something you dislike or disagree with


ANTAGONISM Defined for Kids

antagonism

play
noun an·tag·o·nism \ an-ˈta-gə-ˌni-zəm \

Definition of antagonism for Students

:a strong feeling of dislike or disagreement

Medical Dictionary

antagonism

play
noun an·tag·o·nism \ an-ˈtag-ə-ˌniz-əm \

medical Definition of antagonism

:opposition in physiological action:
a :opposing action in the effect of contraction of muscles (as the extensors and flexors of a part)
b :interaction of two or more substances such that the action of any one of them on living cells or tissues is lessened (as by interference with the uptake or by an opposing physiological reaction) — compare synergism


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