antagonism

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

Definition of antagonism

1a : 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

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of antagonism in a Sentence

The region has a long history of ethnic antagonisms. the antagonism between them was so bad they couldn't even sit near each other

Recent Examples on the Web

Once the refugee issue is exposed as a scam, Palestinian leaders would have to learn how to govern, not merely stir up antagonism with Israel. Richard Goldberg And, WSJ, "Expose the Palestinian ‘Refugee’ Scam," 5 July 2018 That was under Moreno’s predecessor, Rafael Correa, whose political identity was based partly on his antagonism toward the United States. Kenneth P. Vogel, The Seattle Times, "Manafort tried to broker deal with Ecuador to hand Assange over to U.S.," 3 Dec. 2018 The horrors of the Battle of Stalingrad are clear, but there’s no antagonism towards the Germans. Washington Post, "Volgograd provides the proper perspective at World Cup," 20 June 2018 For all of Trump’s verbal and realized antagonism toward the reality of climate change, here’s the truth: There is no scientific debate about climate change. Emily Hernandez, Teen Vogue, "What Is Climate Change? Everything You Need To Know About Global Warming," 17 July 2018 Their condescension turns to antagonism when the dead marquis’s will leaves everything to Manuel. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: Peril Comes to Paradise," 18 Oct. 2018 Women running this year, win or lose, tell stories of facing antagonism that’s goes from sexist to shockingly vicious. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "Rashida Tlaib Isn’t Waiting to Get to Congress to Help Other Women," 20 Sep. 2018 Deep-rooted antagonism toward the United States might well endure long after Putin has gone. Daniel Beer, New York Times, "Does Vladimir Putin Speak for the Russian People?," 6 July 2018 In this climate of mistrust, Rockford was betting that its version of extreme community policing would be a model for how to undo entrenched practices and antagonisms. Ben Austen, The New Republic, "How one American city chose to tackle crime, combat racism, and reckon with the legacy of police brutality," 21 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of antagonism

1716, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for antagonism

see antagonize

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Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for antagonism

The first known use of antagonism was in 1716

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More Definitions for antagonism

antagonism

noun

English Language Learners Definition of antagonism

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

antagonism

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

Kids Definition of antagonism

: a strong feeling of dislike or disagreement

antagonism

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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