Definition of antagonism in English:



mass noun
  • Active hostility or opposition.

    ‘the antagonism between them’
    ‘his antagonism towards the local people’
    count noun ‘petty antagonisms and jealousies’
    • ‘So much of the way people behave in negotiations causes anger, bitterness, hostility or antagonism.’
    • ‘And there often is an assumption that it is about hostility or antagonism between men and women.’
    • ‘In the early nineteenth century, the old British antagonism between Celts and Saxons was put on a biological footing.’
    • ‘This perception has caused resentment, antagonism, and opposition to the West.’
    • ‘What lies behind all this, I believe, is a deep sense of the fundamental antagonism between the government and the people it governs.’
    • ‘Very often it is our discrimination against them that helps nurture their antagonism towards us.’
    • ‘The legal system can seek to limit family members' antagonism towards one another, particularly when relationships are ending.’
    • ‘Both relationships are made difficult by a shared awareness of a history of mutual antagonism between ethnic groups.’
    • ‘For on a national level, New Labour has long since abandoned any Old Labour-style antagonism towards private education.’
    • ‘The year-end election is likely to revive antagonism between the government and the opposition.’
    • ‘Open public antagonism towards farmers will not help them, their communities or the rest of us.’
    • ‘Why, though, if truth is so wonderful, and so obtainable, is there so much antagonism toward science?’
    • ‘The antagonism between races in the city is nothing compared with the fear of it felt by those outside.’
    • ‘The petty point-scoring highlights the deepening antagonism between the rivals.’
    • ‘This suddenly changed the long-standing political antagonism between the East and the West.’
    • ‘I am very sorry that some contributors to your letters page seem to be trying to encourage antagonism between different areas of the city hit by the floods.’
    • ‘He said antagonism between the French teenagers and local youths had built up over the weekend, with a number of verbal exchanges.’
    • ‘Our natural state is antagonism towards authority and a general feeling of disenchantment.’
    • ‘The symbolic separation and opposition aside, the personal antagonism between the two men is not imagined by the media.’
    • ‘In 1959 he became professor, by which time he had welcomed in the new NHS and done much to make his colleagues overcome their antagonism towards it.’
    hostility, friction, enmity, antipathy, animus, opposition, dissension, rivalry, feud, conflict, discord, contention
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Early 19th century: from French antagonisme, from Greek antagōnizesthai ‘struggle against’ (see antagonist).