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Definition of "agonistic" [ag•o•nis•tic]

  • Striving to overcome in argument; combative. (adjective)
  • Struggling to achieve effect; strained and contrived. (adjective)
  • Of or relating to contests, originally those of the ancient Greeks. (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "agonistic" in a sentence
  • "In an antagonistic what in biology is called agonistic encounter with another animal, a dog wants to appear to be the bigger, more powerful creature—so he makes a big-dog sound."
  • "Burckhardt and Nietzsche were colleagues in Basel, and each developed an "agonistic" theory of society."
  • "It's here that he rails for the umpteenth time against lesser critics who have dared to suggest that his boisterous, agonistic account of writerly influence might be weighted in favour of a certain masculinist tradition."