an·​tag·​o·​nize | \ an-ˈta-gə-ˌnīz How to pronounce antagonize (audio) \
antagonized; antagonizing

Definition of antagonize

transitive verb

1 : to incur or provoke the hostility of His criticism antagonized his friends.
2 : to act in opposition to : counteract The drug is antagonized by methylxanthines, such as caffeine and theophylline …Scientific American Medicine

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Synonyms for antagonize


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Examples of antagonize in a Sentence

He didn't mean to antagonize you. Her comments antagonized many people.
Recent Examples on the Web And their mayors have been almost structurally predisposed to antagonize rural voters. Emily Badger, New York Times, "230 Years and Zero Presidents: Why Mayors Haven’t Jumped Straight to the White House," 18 Nov. 2019 Tom Brady got in the Halloween spirit in order to playfully antagonize his former competitor Peyton Manning. Benjamin Vanhoose,, "Tom Brady Just Trolled Peyton Manning with a Halloween Skeleton Decoration: 'Getting Old'," 1 Nov. 2019 But the proposal also threatens to antagonize unions and voters in areas that depend on oil and gas for jobs. Nicholas Riccardi, The Denver Post, "Democrats step on shaky political ground with fracking bans," 10 Sep. 2019 Part of the Dorrs’ playbook in other states has been to antagonize existing leading Second Amendment groups for being too compromising. Andrew J. Tobias,, "How one Ohio gun-rights group aims to upend the public debate by scaring Republicans," 27 Aug. 2019 Internal acrimony Never the best of friends, Democratic Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub and Republican Vice Chairwoman Caroline Hunter — two of the three remaining FEC commissioners — are antagonizing one another as much as ever. NBC News, "Halloween's over. The Federal Election Commission? Still a zombie.," 1 Nov. 2019 The video showed Robinson antagonizing Fouse and telling him to hit her, according to DeNoon’s testimony, but Fouse declined to do so. Ashley Remkus |, al, "Huntsville woman fatally shot man during car purchase dispute, investigator testifies," 21 Aug. 2019 Over the last three years, Diaz has enjoyed his time on the sidelines as somewhat of an antihero, smoking mounds of marijuana and antagonizing UFC boss Dana White. Manouk Akopyan, Los Angeles Times, "Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic highlights UFC 241 from Anaheim," 16 Aug. 2019 After all, this is a player who went AWOL ahead of his team’s season finale last December, with that team still in the playoff hunt, then grew a blonde mustache and publicly antagonized the organization on social media to try to force a trade. Albert Breer,, "Antonio Brown’s Helmet Drama Is Exactly What Jon Gruden and the Raiders Bargained For," 12 Aug. 2019

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

circa 1742, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for antagonize

Greek antagōnizesthai, from anti- + agōnizesthai to struggle, from agōn contest — more at agony

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Time Traveler for antagonize

Time Traveler

The first known use of antagonize was circa 1742

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Statistics for antagonize

Last Updated

8 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Antagonize.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 10 December 2019.

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More Definitions for antagonize


How to pronounce antagonize (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of antagonize

: to cause (someone) to feel hostile or angry : to irritate or upset (someone)


an·​tag·​o·​nize | \ an-ˈta-gə-ˌnīz How to pronounce antagonize (audio) \
antagonized; antagonizing

Kids Definition of antagonize

: to stir up dislike or anger in The bully antagonizes younger kids.


transitive verb
variants: also British antagonise \ an-​ˈtag-​ə-​ˌnīz How to pronounce antagonise (audio) \
antagonized also British antagonised; antagonizing also British antagonising

Medical Definition of antagonize

: to act in antagonism to : counteract these effects are antagonized by atropine— Ernest Bueding & Harry Most

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More from Merriam-Webster on antagonize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for antagonize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with antagonize

Spanish Central: Translation of antagonize

Nglish: Translation of antagonize for Spanish Speakers

Comments on antagonize

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


to state or do over again or repeatedly

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