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Antagonist - Definition


An antagonist is any substance, organ, or phenomenon whose action is opposed to all other substances, organs, or phenomena. With regard to the muscles, the movement generated by the antagonist muscle is opposed to the movement of the agonist muscle. During a movement, the agonist is the principal muscle used to complete the movement; the antagonist is at rest while the agonist works. Furthermore, the antagonist muscle is stretched when the agonist muscle is tensed and vice versa. With regard to substances, sometimes antagonist molecules are used to counteract the harmful affects of excess amounts of other molecules, like in the case of intoxication or overdose.