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1. Physiol the normal opposition between certain muscles
2. Biology the inhibition or interference of growth of one kind of organism by another
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a form of contradiction characterized by acute, irreconcilable struggle of hostile forces or tendencies. The term “antagonism” in reference to the struggle of opposing forces is used in religious systems (struggle of good and evil) by Kant, Schopenhauer, and other philosophers. The term is applied to biology and mathematics (game theory) in the same sense. Marxism, analyzing the antagonism between classes in slave-owning, feudal, and capitalist societies and in the transitional period from capitalism to socialism, has shown that antagonisms are resolved by means of the class struggle, whose forms and content are determined by the concrete, historical conditions of their development. K. Marx noted that bourgeois relations of production are the “last antagonistic form of the social process of production . . .” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch. 2nd ed. vol. 13, p.7). V. I. Lenin emphasized that “antagonism and contradiction are not one and the same thing. The former will disappear, but the latter will remain under socialism.” (Leninskii sbornik, XI, 1929, p. 357.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Mutual opposition as seen between organisms, muscles, physiologic actions, and drugs.
Opposing action between drugs and disease or drugs and functions.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.