an·​tag·​o·​nis·​tic | \ (ˌ)an-ˌta-gə-ˈni-stik How to pronounce antagonistic (audio) \

Definition of antagonistic

: showing dislike or opposition : marked by or resulting from antagonism an antagonistic relationship factions antagonistic to one another

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Other Words from antagonistic

antagonistically \ (ˌ)an-​ˌta-​gə-​ˈni-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce antagonistically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of antagonistic in a Sentence

They found it impossible to deal with such antagonistic groups. countries that have been antagonistic towards each other for centuries
Recent Examples on the Web Under President Trump, the Region 9 office has been in an unusually antagonistic position with California, recently taking issue with water pollution in San Francisco that ithe president blamed on homeless people. Peter Fimrite,, "EPA names former PG&E attorney to head West Coast office," 11 Feb. 2020 After all, the study only examined one of their many calls, some of which include some saucy posturing, wing spreading and antagonistic pecks. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Jackass Penguin Calls Follow Similar Rules to Human Speech," 7 Feb. 2020 China’s Foreign Ministry, meantime, has singled out the U.S. government for criticism on a near-daily basis, characterizing its moves as irresponsible and antagonistic. Liza Lin, WSJ, "U.S. Sets Second Evacuation of Americans From China," 4 Feb. 2020 Eleven screeners recommended Jones, with some describing an antagonistic meeting with Ogg. Jasper Scherer, Houston Chronicle, "GLBT Caucus endorses Audia Jones for DA in rebuke of openly lesbian incumbent Kim Ogg," 1 Feb. 2020 Historically, Europeans were dismissive and even antagonistic towards deliberate fires as a landscape management tool. Popular Science, "The fire ‘time bomb’ is finally detonating on the world," 7 Jan. 2020 The retreating Americans appeared to be the big losers, conceding their power-broker role to the Russians, who have emerged as the key intermediaries between the antagonistic governments in Damascus and Ankara. Los Angeles Times, "News Analysis: Russian and Syrian troops take the place of Kurdish forces in key cities," 23 Oct. 2019 Barkov’s antagonistic relationship to Farah is one of the story’s main through-lines. Nick Capozzoli, Ars Technica, "How Modern Warfare smooths over the horrors of war," 22 Nov. 2019 The women on the U.S. basketball team are also taking control, though without nearly as antagonistic a relationship with USA Basketball. Ann Killion,, "Warriors to honor Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird: The most powerful couple in sports," 28 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'antagonistic.' 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 antagonistic

circa 1637, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for antagonistic

see antagonize

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Time Traveler for antagonistic

Time Traveler

The first known use of antagonistic was circa 1637

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Statistics for antagonistic

Last Updated

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Antagonistic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for antagonistic


an·​tag·​o·​nis·​tic | \ an-ˌta-gə-ˈni-stik How to pronounce antagonistic (audio) \

Kids Definition of antagonistic

: showing dislike or opposition : hostile, unfriendly


an·​tag·​o·​nis·​tic | \ (ˌ)an-ˌtag-ə-ˈnis-tik How to pronounce antagonistic (audio) \

Medical Definition of antagonistic

1 : characterized by or resulting from antagonism antagonistic antibiotics
2 : relating to or being muscles that are antagonists skeletal muscles arranged in antagonistic pairs

Other Words from antagonistic

antagonistically \ -​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce antagonistically (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on antagonistic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for antagonistic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with antagonistic

Spanish Central: Translation of antagonistic

Nglish: Translation of antagonistic for Spanish Speakers

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