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How to pronounce antagonize (audio)

Dictionary definition of antagonize

To provoke, irritate, or create hostility or conflict with someone intentionally.
"Harsh criticism without constructive feedback will antagonize your students."

Detailed meaning of antagonize

When we use the term "antagonize," we emphasize the deliberate actions or behaviors that are intended to incite anger, resentment, or disagreement in another person. People may antagonize others through words, actions, or attitudes that are confrontational, disrespectful, or offensive. Such behavior can lead to tense and confrontational interactions, making it challenging to maintain positive relationships or resolve conflicts amicably. Antagonizing someone often has negative consequences, as it can escalate disagreements and lead to further animosity or estrangement. This verb underscores the importance of fostering positive communication and cooperation rather than engaging in behaviors that create hostility or tension.

Example sentences of antagonize

1. Don't antagonize your boss with your constant tardiness.
2. His arrogance will only antagonize his colleagues.
3. Her refusal to cooperate might antagonize the other members of the team.
4. If you keep breaking the rules, you will antagonize the school authorities.
5. Loud music at late hours can antagonize your neighbors.
6. Ignoring your partner's feelings will inevitably antagonize them.

History and etymology of antagonize

The verb 'antagonize' derives its etymology from the Greek word 'antagonizesthai,' which is a combination of 'anti,' meaning 'against,' and 'agonizesthai,' meaning 'to contend' or 'to struggle.' In its original Greek context, 'antagonizesthai' referred to engaging in athletic or competitive contests, often in opposition to others. As the term made its way into Latin and later into English, it underwent a shift in meaning to describe actions that provoke, irritate, or create hostility or conflict with someone intentionally. 'Antagonize' thus preserves its connection to opposition and contention, emphasizing the deliberate actions that can lead to conflict or animosity in interpersonal relationships.

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Further usage examples of antagonize

1. If you keep dismissing their ideas, you'll antagonize your peers.
2. Using offensive language in your speech will antagonize the audience.
3. Challenging the traditions of the community may antagonize its elders.
4. Consistently underdelivering on promises will antagonize your clients.
5. He tends to antagonize his friends with his unkind jokes.
6. If you argue without respecting their viewpoint, you'll antagonize the other party.
7. Inconsistent policies can antagonize your workforce, leading to low morale.
8. Bragging about your wealth and success can antagonize people around you.
9. Avoid actions that will antagonize your competitors unnecessarily.
10. Inflating prices without improving quality will antagonize your customers.
11. Being dismissive of cultural sensitivities can antagonize the local population.
12. Refusing to acknowledge your mistakes will only antagonize those you've wronged.
13. Failure to respect privacy will antagonize your friends and acquaintances.
14. Her frank and honest comments antagonize many people.


Quiz categories containing antagonize


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Multiple Choice Game

Multiple Choice

Opposite Words Game

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Spelling Bee



provoke, pacify, conciliate, appease

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