9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[an-tag-uh-niz-uh m] /ænˈtæg əˌnɪz əm/
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 synergism).
  1. a relationship between two species of organisms in which the individuals of each species adversely affect the other, as in competition.
  2. the inhibition of the growth of one type of organism by a different type that is competing for the same ecological niche.
Origin of antagonism
1835-40; (< French antagonisme) < Greek antagṓnisma. See antagonize, -ism
Related forms
interantagonism, noun
1. conflict, friction, strife. 2. animosity. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for antagonism
  • It's not a problem of hostility or antagonism, it's more of a problem of indifference.
  • The antagonism of the past spills over into present-day disputes.
  • Scholars trace the nation's antagonism to its history of domination by foreign powers.
  • Most of the present antagonism is expressed in words, not violent acts .
  • If nothing else, both companies find their mutual antagonism useful for focusing employees' energy.
  • More often than not, truths that are incredible are met with antagonism.
  • People respond to antagonism in very predictable ways.
  • Instead, they often greet them with paternalism or antagonism.
  • There was no struggle for existence, no antagonism of interests; in short, that was paradise.
  • Both narratives have a basis in reality but can spiral into permanent suspicion and antagonism.
British Dictionary definitions for antagonism


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
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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Word Origin and History for antagonism

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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antagonism in Medicine

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.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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