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[ag-ohn, -on, ah-gohn] /ˈæg oʊn, -ɒn, ɑˈgoʊn/
noun, plural agones
[uh-goh-neez] /əˈgoʊ niz/ (Show IPA)
(in ancient Greece) a contest in which prizes were awarded in any of a number of events, as athletics, drama, music, poetry, and painting.
(italics) Greek. (in ancient Greek drama) a formalized debate or argumentation, especially in comedy: usually following the proagon and preceding the parabasis.
Literature. conflict, especially between the protagonist and the antagonist.
Origin of agon
1650-60; < Greek agṓn struggle, contest Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for agon
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Preceding her was agon, the High Priest, arrayed in his most gorgeous vestments, and on either side were other priests.

    Allan Quatermain H. Rider Haggard
  • agon saw this and hesitated, and then for the first time Nyleptha spoke in her soft sweet voice.

    Allan Quatermain H. Rider Haggard
  • agon is still the ordinary Russian word for fire, the equivalent of the Latin ignis.

    Russian Fairy Tales W. R. S. Ralston
  • After our escape from agon and his pious crew we returned to our quarters in the palace and had a very good time.

    Allan Quatermain H. Rider Haggard
  • The next day was called the day of the “Cups”—there was a contest or agon of drinking.

    Ancient Art and Ritual Jane Ellen Harrison
  • I only wished that old agon could have heard her, it would have frightened him.

    Allan Quatermain H. Rider Haggard
  • Endecagon, en-dek′a-gon, n. a plane figure of eleven sides—also Hendec′agon.

British Dictionary definitions for agon


/ˈæɡəʊn; -ɡɒn/
noun (pl) agones (əˈɡəʊniːz)
(in ancient Greece) a festival at which competitors contended for prizes. Among the best known were the Olympic, Pythian, Nemean, and Isthmian Games
Word Origin
C17: Greek: contest, from agein to lead
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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