Difference Between Agonist and Antagonist

Main Difference

Both the words, Agonist and Antagonist are antonyms of each other, which are widely used in field of anatomy, biochemistry and even in literature. Although their meanings or expression vary in each of the field, but it can easily differentiate between both the terms as they are exactly opposite to each other. If one produces action, the other one opposes this action. In terms of biology, agonist and antagonist are the muscles that generally exist in pairs; bicep and tricep are one of the prominent examples of such muscles as one relaxes and the other contracts at the same time, and when one contracts the other relaxes. The term Agonist is derived from the Latin word agnista, which means ‘contender’, whereas term Antagonist has been derived from Latin and Greek words antagonista and antagonistes respectively, which means ‘competitor, rival or opponent.’

Comparison Chart

AgonistAntagonist
Derived FromThe term Agonist is derived from the Latin word agnista, which means ‘contender’.Antagonist has been derived from Latin and Greek words antagonista and antagonistes respectively, which means ‘competitor, rival or opponent.’
In terms of Anatomy‘Agonist’ is a muscle that is held responsible for the contraction in the body.Antagonist’ is referred as the muscle which gets relaxed due to the contraction in agonist muscle.
In terms of PharmacologyAgonist drugs imitates the effects of neurotransmitters in the human brain.‘Antagonist’ drug block the brain’s neurotransmitters.

What is Agonist?

As mentioned above the word ‘agonist’ has diverse meaning in different fields it is used. Generally speaking it is always the opposite of ‘antagonist’ in around every of the world. The term’ agonist’ is widely used in field of anatomy, biochemistry, pharmacology and even in literature. To know the major usage and meaning of this term, one needs to know about the word with respect to these some of the important fields.

In terms of Biology or Anatomy

‘Agonist’ is a muscle that is held responsible for the contraction, which helps the body to move.

In terms of Biochemistry

An ‘Agonist is a chemical that brings out the biological response with binding to a receptor.

In terms of Pharmacology

Agonist drugs imitates the effects of neurotransmitters in the human brain. These agonist drugs can mainly be divided into two categories: direct-binding agonists and indirect-acting agonists.

In terms of Literature

In literature agonist refers to the protagonist, which is the lead character of any play, novel or film.

What is Antagonist?

Antagonist and agonist are the antonyms of each other, if agonist refers to the action, the antagonist refers to the opposite action as of the agonist. To know the major usage and meaning of this term, one needs to know about the word with respect to these some of the important fields.

In terms of Biology or Anatomy

‘Antagonist’ is referred as the muscle which gets relaxed due to the contraction in agonist muscle.

In terms of Biochemistry

Antagonist is the chemical that binds with a receptor inhibits or interferes with the physiological response of agonist.

In terms of Pharmacology

‘Antagonist’ drug block the brain’s neurotransmitters. They can mainly be divided into two types: direct-acting antagonists and indirect-acting antagonists

In terms of Literature

The villain or the enemy in the play, novel or film that, which comes against the protagonist is called the antagonist.

Agonist vs. Antagonist

  • The term Agonist is derived from the Latin word agnista, which means ‘contender’, whereas term Antagonist has been derived from Latin and Greek words antagonista and antagonistes respectively, which means ‘competitor, rival or opponent.’
  • ‘Agonist’ is a muscle that is held responsible for the contraction in the body, whereas ‘Antagonist’ is referred as the muscle which gets relaxed due to the contraction in agonist muscle.
  • Agonist drugs imitates the effects of neurotransmitters in the human brain, whereas ‘Antagonist’ drug block the brain’s neurotransmitters.

Comparison Video

YouTube video
Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

View all posts by Harlon Moss