• IPA: /ænˈtæɡənɪst/

antagonist (plural antagonists)

  1. An opponent or enemy.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 9”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      '''Antagonist of Heav’ns Almightie King
    • our antagonists in these controversies
  2. One who antagonizes or stirs.
  3. (biochemistry) A chemical that binds to a receptor but does not produce a physiological response, blocking the action of agonist chemicals.
    • 2001: The calcium antagonists represent one of the top ten classes of prescription drugs in terms of commercial value, with worldwide sales of nearly $10 billion in 1999. — Leslie Iversen, Drugs: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford 2001, p. 41)
  4. (authorship) The main character or force opposing the protagonist in a literary work or drama.
  5. (anatomy) A muscle that acts in opposition to another.
    A flexor, which bends a part, is the antagonist of an extensor, which extends it.
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