antagonize

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for antagonize

Synonyms

embitter, empoison, envenom

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of antagonize in a Sentence

He didn't mean to antagonize you. Her comments antagonized many people.

Recent Examples on the Web

Privately, people close to the president have conceded that assuring Mr. Trump that the investigation would end by a certain date was primarily aimed at keeping him from antagonizing Mr. Mueller on his Twitter feed or in interviews. Michael S. Schmidt And Maggie Haberman, New York Times, "In Russia Inquiry, Lawyers Tell Trump to Refuse Mueller Interview," 5 Feb. 2018 Even in the face of ugly details of Jamal Khashoggi’s slaying, Trump has resisted calls to cut off arms sales to the kingdom and has been reluctant to antagonize the Saudi rulers. Susannah George, The Seattle Times, "US to revoke visas of Saudis implicated in killing of writer," 23 Oct. 2018 More important, the Western economic order, and the American dollar in particular, depends on Chinese goodwill far too much for statesmen to risk antagonizing Beijing with reckless rhetoric. Peter Slezkine, The New Republic, "What Happened to the “Free World”?," 22 May 2018 But while the broad strokes of the directive are alarming, many of the details are still unclear, and big tech companies seem to be holding their fire for fear of antagonizing regulators. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "Wikimedia calls EU copyright directive ‘a missed opportunity’," 12 Sep. 2018 The elder DiNubile and his relatives, meanwhile, have said that Olivieri’s friends have antagonized them, gloating on social media about the 16-year-old’s death and calling for Olivieri to be released from prison. Chris Palmer, Philly.com, "Tensions boil over as South Philly teen agrees to be tried as adult in killing of two 16-year-olds," 5 June 2018 Advertisers, leery of controversy and of antagonizing the Governor, shunned the paper and took their chances with a Providence Journal monopoly, which purchased the StarTribune in a bankruptcy sale and then shuttered it within months. Richard E. Farley, Town & Country, "The Great American Racetrack War," 9 June 2017 An Oregon man who was caught on video seemingly antagonizing a bison in Yellowstone National Park was reportedly sentenced to 130 days in jail Thursday after entering a guilty plea to the charges against him. Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, "Yellowstone bison taunter reportedly sentenced to jail," 23 Aug. 2018 First, the great majority of these groups live in Vietnam’s north, on the border with China, and are therefore best not antagonized with such a powerful neighbor. Hanya Yanagihara, Condé Nast Traveler, "50 Things to Do in Asia Before You Die," 24 Sep. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about antagonize

Statistics for antagonize

Last Updated

31 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for antagonize

The first known use of antagonize was circa 1742

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for antagonize

antagonize

verb

English Language Learners Definition of antagonize

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

antagonize

verb
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.

antagonize

transitive verb
an·​tag·​o·​nize
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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on antagonize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with antagonize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).

WORD OF THE DAY

something valued as if it were money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!