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Antagonize Definition – Meaning And Usage In A Sentence

Antagonize Definition – Meaning And Usage In A Sentence

The word “antagonize” primarily points towards agony, opposition, or provocation and has a unique function in literary works. In general, antagonizing a person means to provoke another to act angrily in response to actions or words hurled at him. We identify a character who causes the main character to act in a play as an antagonist.

Antagonize is a word used to describe a sequence of words or actions performed or carried out by a person against another in a bid to incur or provoke the hostility of the recipient. In some sense, it makes the recipient angry or irritated by the actions against him.

As it seems to be a word favoring chaos, correcting an individual on an issue can still antagonize him by the truth or the correction made. In a more neutral usage- in medicine, the word “antagonize” describes the direct opposite effect a substance has on another. Here, a specialist administers a medication to a patient to help cancel out or neutralize the effect or action of another drug that may have been taken in excess by that patient. In biology, “antagonistic” can also clearly describe interference or inhibition to a physiological process.

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What is the Meaning of Antagonize?

Antagonize means to perform an action either using words or physical representations to incur or stir up the wrath or provocation of an individual. The performance or activities of this kind usually have a profound emotional effect on the individual antagonized.

In most cases, to antagonize employs harsh or subtle words as determined by the antagonist with the sole aim of causing provocation, irritation, or even violence as a kind of feedback.

As perceived from the various expressions made with the word “antagonize,” the central meaning of this word for most contexts is either opposition or contention. On stage, screen, or in a novel, the “antagonist” usually refers to the character that contends or opposes another character (protagonist) either for a good or bad course.

Muscles can contract, but in this instance, when contraction limits or contends with the action of another muscle, it is said to have “antagonized” that muscle. This meaning is peculiar in anatomy, and it does well to present a biological perspective to the usage of the word “antagonize.”

How to use Antagonize in a Sentence?

Going on to how the word “antagonize” can be used in a sentence to relay a specific thought, below is a descriptive sentence for the word “antagonize”:

  1. “Antagonize” can be used in a statement to show that an action carried out would lead to provocation or hatred. For example: “The absence of the government representatives in the scheduled meeting would surely antagonize the protesting labor workers who received no salaries in the past ten months.”
  2. “Antagonize” can be used to describe a direct attack against someone. For example: “The refusal of the President to make adjustments or resign from public service within the deadline pronounced gave room for the separatists to antagonize him.”
  3. “Antagonize” can be used to discourage or sabotage commitment, cooperation, or progress. For example: “Making profits as a goal in your business, in the long run, do not antagonize moral principles in any way.”
  4. “Antagonize” can be used in a way to make a mockery of someone or a situation experienced by someone. For example: “He went out of his way to antagonize his opponents despite the ban that had been placed” My friend lost his phone recently, and I wouldn’t want anyone to antagonize him.”
  5. To cancel out or alter the effects or qualities of another component. For example: “Naloxone is used to antagonize the effects of heroin or morphine in cases of overdose.” “Under acute exposures, Selenium appears to antagonize Cadmium.”
  6. “Antagonize” can also be used in a sentence to depict perpendicular-positioning. For example: “For octopus species, the meridional and circular muscles antagonize the radial muscles.”

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Ten Examples of Antagonize in a Sentence

Here are ten examples of ‘antagonize’ used in a sentence:

  1. When you antagonize a person, you often stir up hatred in such a person’s heart against you.
  2. While he served as President of his country, the citizens of that country made frantic efforts to antagonize his leadership style. They felt they deserved more than he offered them, considering the resources available at his disposal.
  3. My brother thought I decided to antagonize him in public, judging from how I spoke earlier today. Sincerely, I didn’t plan to be an antagonist; I told the truth as expected.
  4. He failed the college entrance examinations for the third consecutive time, and as expected, his friends came around to antagonize him.
  5. In a novel, a character that antagonizes makes the main character act egregiously.
  6. Do you really deem it necessary to antagonize them daily on our lunch break?
  7. Doctors specifically utilize certain drugs to antagonize the effects of another drug which may have been taken in excess by a patient or an individual generally.
  8. Making profits a goal in your business is not avarice and, in the long run, does not antagonize moral principles in any way.
  9. The competition hosts disqualified Laila due to her involvement in the bribery scandal. Instead of apologizing, she antagonized the other contestants and the competition itself.
  10. I loved his choice of words during the valedictory speech. He was careful not to antagonize his colleagues despite the ill-treatment he got from them.
  11. I never knew my lecturer was mean until he antagonized my success. He is so blinded by hubris that he refused to approve my work because I didn’t pay the levy he imposed on my class.

How Do you Spell Antagonize?

We consider a word as correctly spelled when we identify the letters of the alphabet that make up it and place them correctly and in the proper order. The correct spelling of terms gives room for identifying the right number of syllables.

The correct spelling for the English word “Antagonize” is [A N T A G O N I Z E]. The spelling of this word is quite universal across all types of English spelling. It retains its form when spelled across British and American English. However, for British English, the word can also be spelled as [A N T A G O N I S E]

How Do You Pronounce Antagonize?

Here, we consider the correct way the word “antagonize” is voiced in English. The sequence of sounds produced as determined by the proper placement of stress, intonation, and other vital factors give the correct way we pronounce “antagonize.”

So, we have the correct pronunciation for the word “antagonize” to be /(æn’tæə,naiz)/ ,\an-‘ta-gə-,nîz\

Antagonize Synonyms

  • Furious
  • Irritable
  • Heated
  • Annoyed

Antagonize Antonyms

  • Collected
  • Calm
  • Peaceful
  • Pleased

How Many Syllables Are in Antagonize?

The number of times we hear a vowel sound when any word is correctly pronounced denotes the number of syllables. We hear vowels more clearly than the consonants when pronounced (due to the obstructions in the oral cavity during the pronunciation of the consonants). From the description given, we can carefully identify that the number of times we heard vowel sounds during articulation is four.

Hence, the word “antagonize” when pronounced has four syllables, and it is represented as “an-tag-o-nize” when divided according to its syllable structure.

History & Etymology of Antagonize

The established study of the origin and history of words has helped to give a clear source of the word “antagonize” and how the meaning of its root words has changed throughout history till it got to its present state or form. This study enhances the understanding of the language and gives an insight into the shared roots that certain words have with other languages.

The history and origin of the English word “antagonize” can be carefully traced to a Greek word, “antagōnízesthal,” which means to contend against “dispute with.” The Greek word earlier represented is said to be a combination of “anti” and “agōnizesthai,” which means “to struggle” and further traced to “agōn,” which means “contest.”

The Greek word “agōn” translates to “agony.” The Middle English form, “agonie” was borrowed from Anglo-French, “agonie.” This Anglo-French rendition comes from late Latin “agōnia,” borrowed from Greek, “agōnia,” which means “contest,” “struggle,” or “anguish.” This word also relates to the initial Greek word, “agōn,” stated earlier.

When was Antagonize First Used?

According to, the Greek word “antagōnízesthal” was first recorded between 1625-1635 but then its first known use according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is in 1742. Its use described an action performed or carried out in opposition to another.

However, as a transitive verb, its usage extends to describe actions that incur or provoke the hostility of another individual. The word “antagonize” can also be used to describe actions or activities that stir up dislike, anger, or even irritation.

Final Thoughts

Antagonize means to perform an action either using words or physical representations to incur or stir up the wrath or provocation of an individual. As stated above, the term “antagonize” appears to have a harsh aura when present in a sentence. Like every other word, it has its root and performs its unique function to describe human feelings and interactions best using English.