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an active hostility or opposition, as between unfriendly or conflicting groups:
the antagonism between the liberal and the conservative parties.
an opposing force, principle, or tendency:
Her plan to become an actress met with the antagonism of her family.
Physiology. an opposing action, as by one muscle in relation to another.
Biochemistry, Pharmacology. the opposing action of substances, as drugs, that when taken together decrease the effectiveness of at least one of them (contrasted with ).

a relationship between two species of organisms in which the individuals of each species adversely affect the other, as in competition.
the inhibition of the growth of one type of organism by a different type that is competing for the same ecological niche.

Contemporary Examples

And the antagonism sure to be generated by such racial disparities was magnified by the sheer number of cases.
Ferguson Feeds Off the Poor: Three Warrants a Year Per Household Michael Daly August 21, 2014

Work that alienates one reader to the point of antagonism can feel like a perfect fit to another.
Lars Iyer’s ‘Wittgenstein Jr.’ Plumbs the Deep Fun of Philosophical Fiction Drew Smith September 30, 2014

On more than one occasion, literal fights broke out behind closed doors, and the antagonism often fell along racial lines.
Liberals Slam Andrew Cuomo’s Deals With New York GOP David Freedlander December 8, 2012

The antagonism between News Corp. and the BBC goes back a long way.
Rupert Murdoch’s Battle With the BBC Peter Jukes March 25, 2012

It is important not to set out on a path of antagonism towards the leaders in Israel and Palestine.
Yes He Can Make Peace Gershon Baskin November 8, 2012

Historical Examples

In part this antagonism of classes is merely the result of difference in manners.
The Psychology of Nations G.E. Partridge

There were other reasons for the antagonism of Plato to poetry.
The Republic Plato

Scarcely had the two men met, before they found themselves in antagonism.
The Adventures of the Chevalier De La Salle and His Companions, in Their Explorations of the Prairies, Forests, Lakes, and Rivers, of the New World, and Their Interviews with the Savage Tribes, Two Hundred Years Ago John S. C. Abbott

We write from aspiration and antagonism, as well as from experience.
Essays, First Series Ralph Waldo Emerson

This has intensified and called out many of the worst features of antagonism and inequality.
The Ethics of Coperation James Hayden Tufts

openly expressed and usually mutual opposition
the inhibiting or nullifying action of one substance or organism on another
(physiol) the normal opposition between certain muscles
(biology) the inhibition or interference of growth of one kind of organism by another

1797, from French antagonisme or directly from late Greek antagonisma, noun of action from antagonizesthai “to struggle against” (see antagonist).

antagonism an·tag·o·nism (ān-tāg’ə-nĭz’əm)
Mutual opposition in action between structures, agents, diseases, or physiological processes. Also called mutual resistance.


Read Also:

  • Antagonistic muscles

    antagonistic muscles antagonistic muscles an·tag·o·nis·tic muscles (ān-tāg’ə-nĭs’tĭk) pl.n. Muscles having opposite functions, the contraction of one neutralizing the contraction of the other. Historical Examples The result is the innervation of antagonistic muscles, by which the impression is intensified. Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1 Various

  • Antagonistically

    acting in opposition; opposing, especially mutually. hostile; unfriendly. Historical Examples The county would discuss her antagonistically at a hundred tea-tables. The Pastor’s Wife Elizabeth von Arnim adjective in active opposition mutually opposed adj. 1630s, from antagonist + -ic. Related: Antagonistical (1620s); antagonistically.

  • Antagonization

    to make hostile or unfriendly; make an enemy or of: His speech antagonized many voters. to act in opposition to; oppose. Rare. to act . verb (transitive) to make hostile; annoy or irritate to act in opposition to or counteract v. 1630s, “to compete with,” from Greek antagonizesthai “to struggle against, oppose, be a rival” […]

  • Antagonizer

    a person who people, or provokes hostility: The leader was an antagonizer of the peasantry. Compare .

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