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

transitive verb

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

Examples of antagonize in a Sentence

He didn't mean to antagonize you. Her comments antagonized many people.
Recent Examples on the Web Francis has tried to steer a diplomatic tightrope in not antagonizing Moscow, consistent with the Vatican's tradition of diplomatic neutrality in conflicts. Nicole Winfield and Saruul Enkhbold,, 31 Aug. 2023 Israel has maintained working relations with Russia throughout the war in Ukraine and has repeatedly rebuffed requests to sell arms to Kyiv for fear of antagonizing Moscow. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, 17 Aug. 2023 Advertisement Alford has published several videos of him antagonizing people at pride events, including LGBTQ-friendly churches. Michael Williams, Dallas News, 24 July 2023 The answer will antagonize countless Italian Americans, which is certainly not the intention of Miss Manners. Jacobina Martin, Washington Post, 10 July 2023 Since last Thursday, when Mike Locksley proclaimed during Big Ten media day that the Terps can contend for a conference title, the coach’s comment has antagonized some corners of the college football community and galvanized others. Edward Lee, Baltimore Sun, 2 Aug. 2023 Yes, if the result is going to be antagonizing all the couple’s friends. Miss Manners | Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin, Anchorage Daily News, 4 June 2023 Seoul, which is reluctant to openly antagonize Moscow, has declined to send lethal aid and has imposed strict export control rules on its global weapons sales. Cassandra Vinograd,, 15 July 2023 The answer will antagonize countless Italian Americans, which is certainly not Miss Manners’ intention. Miss Manners | Judith Martin, Anchorage Daily News, 11 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'antagonize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

circa 1742, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of antagonize was circa 1742

Dictionary Entries Near antagonize

Cite this Entry

“Antagonize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


an·​tag·​o·​nize an-ˈtag-ə-ˌnīz How to pronounce antagonize (audio)
antagonized; antagonizing
: to stir up dislike or anger in

Medical Definition


transitive verb
variants also British antagonise
antagonized also British antagonised; antagonizing also British antagonising
: to act in antagonism to : counteract
these effects are antagonized by atropineErnest Bueding & Harry Most

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