"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[an-tag-uh-nahyz] /ænˈtæg əˌnaɪz/
verb (used with object), antagonized, antagonizing.
to make hostile or unfriendly; make an enemy or antagonist of:
His speech antagonized many voters.
to act in opposition to; oppose.
verb (used without object), antagonized, antagonizing.
Rare. to act antagonistically.
Also, especially British, antagonise.
Origin of antagonize
1625-35; < Greek antagōnízesthai to contend against, dispute with. See ant-, agonize
Related forms
antagonizable, adjective
antagonization, noun
reantagonize, verb (used with object), reantagonized, reantagonizing.
unantagonizable, adjective
unantagonized, adjective
unantagonizing, adjective
unantagonizingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for antagonize
  • Unrelated fact: Squirrels will deliberately antagonize indoor cats, given the chance and a convenient window ledge.
  • Rule number two is that you do not antagonize those to whom you are in debt.
  • Before my aunt died, she used her last lucid day to antagonize my mother, in a way that was true to their 65-year relationship.
  • They antagonize, humiliate and frustrate scammers who think they have unwary victims.
  • One of her favorite pastimes was to verbally antagonize her brother.
  • Don't antagonize the people who are going to be burying you.
  • No candidate will want to antagonize organized labor in an election campaign.
  • Don't tell him how to do his job, for that will only antagonize him.
  • All in all he advocates liberty and scorns our conventional moralists in a manner that is bound to antagonize a great many people.
  • Money conspires to antagonize couples.
British Dictionary definitions for antagonize


verb (transitive)
to make hostile; annoy or irritate
to act in opposition to or counteract
Derived Forms
antagonizable, antagonisable, adjective
antagonization, antagonisation, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Greek antagōnizesthai, from anti- + agōnizesthai to strive, from agōn contest
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 antagonize

1630s, "to compete with," from Greek antagonizesthai "to struggle against, oppose, be a rival" (see antagonist). Meaning "to struggle against continuously" is recorded from 1742. Related: Antagonized; antagonizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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