a person who is opposed to, struggles against, or competes with another; opponent; adversary.
the adversary of the hero or protagonist of a drama or other literary work: Iago is the antagonist of Othello.
Physiology. a muscle that acts in opposition to another. Compare agonist ( def 3 ).
Dentistry. a tooth in one jaw that articulates during mastication or occlusion with a tooth in the opposing jaw.
Pharmacology. a drug that counteracts the effects of another drug.

1590–1600; < Late Latin antagōnista < Greek antagōnistḗs. See antagonize, -ist

antagonist, proponent, protagonist.

1. contestant, enemy, foe. See adversary.

1. ally, friend. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
antagonist (ænˈtæɡənɪst)
1.  an opponent or adversary, as in a contest, drama, sporting event, etc
2.  Compare agonist any muscle that opposes the action of another
3.  Compare synergist a drug that counteracts the effects of another drug

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1600, from L. antagonista, from Gk. antagonistes "competitor, opponent, rival," from antagonizesthai "to struggle against," from anti- "against" + agonizesthai "to contend for a prize," from agon "contest" (see agony). Originally in battle or sport, extended 1620s to any
sphere of human activity. Related: Antagonistic (1630s).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

antagonist an·tag·o·nist (ān-tāg'ə-nĭst)
Something, such as a muscle, disease, or physiological process, that neutralizes or impedes the action or effect of another.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
antagonist   (ān-tāg'ə-nĭst)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A muscle that opposes the action of another muscle, as by relaxing while the other one contracts, thereby producing smooth, coordinated movement.

  2. A chemical substance, such as a drug, that interferes with the physiological action of another substance, especially by combining with and blocking its nerve receptor. Compare agonist.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
With no strong antagonist, the plot is a bit tepid (although always plausible).
Caffeine is an antagonist for the neurotransmitter adenosine.
It's not love that Conroy feels for his old antagonist but a sense of triumph.
Development just like its antagonist, corruption, occurs in degrees.
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