(Greek: struggle, a contest, to contend for a prize; also, to lead, set in motion, drive, conduct, guide, govern; to do, to act; by extension, pain)

agon (s) (noun), agons (pl)
1. Any of various competitions for prizes at ancient Greek games: Some agons included the athletic or literary contests.
2. The conflict of characters, as in classical Greek dramas or stories: Agons now refer to actions that take place between protagonists and antagonists in works of literature and dramatic presentations.
agonal (adjective), more agonal, most agonal
1. Associated or connected with the great pain of dying: Mrs. Thompson was afraid of passing away because she had heard about the agonal condition of agony accompanying the end of a person's life.
2. Relating to the process of dying or the moment of death: The agonal instance of demise refers to the former erroneous notion that dying is a painful process.
agonarch (s) (noun), agonarchs (pl)
A judge or overseer in competitions, activities, or contests; a Master of Revels: The yearly games require three agonarchs to make certain that all groups are treated equally and that fairness is assured.
agonic (adjective), more agonic, most agonic
Characteristic of not forming an angle; having no angle: The line indicating the perimeter of a circle is an agonic line.
agonious (adjective), more agonious, most agonious
Referring to the condition of being full of misery, torment, woe, or pain which is so extreme as to cause contortions of the body, such as those which were made in athletic contests in Greece: Sometimes there is an agonious distress of the mind and/or body that can result from a person's excessive striving to accomplish something.
agonism (s) (noun), agonisms (pl)
A contention or rivalry for a prize in a contest: Agonism is the condition of a competitive struggle, especially, in the ancient Grecian athletic games or even in a political sense.
agonist (s) (noun), agonists (pl)
1. In physiology, a muscle whose contraction is directly responsible for the movement of a part of the body: In his biology class, Jeff learned that the agonist in bending the elbow was the biceps!
2. A contender for prizes in competitions; a protagonist: Jack was an agonist who took part in the sports contest at school.

An agonist can be an individual who has a leading role in a drama presentation, or is the principal character in a story.

agonistarch (s) (noun), agonistarchs (pl)
1. A person who trained combatants for the Greek Olympic games: The agonistarchs were very important in Greek antiquity because they instructed the fighters or gladiators in preparation for the public competitions.
2. Etymology: from Greek agonistes, "combatant" + -arch, "a ruler, a commander".
agonistic (adjective), more agonistic, most agonistic
1. Pertaining to athletic contests, especially those that were held in ancient Greece: The ancient Olympics were actually called "agones", or struggles to achieve glory, so they had several agonistic competitions in a variety of sports events.
2. A reference to a combative argument or fight: If a person believes it is impossible to know whether or not God exists, and if there is a disagreement with a believer in God, there could be a very strong agonistic disagreement between the two.

These days, so many countries are having agonistic disputes with political opponents and even with the leaders of their own countries to such an extent, that many of them end up causing terrible destruction and deaths, as has been shown recently in Syria and Egypt.

Combative or belligerent.
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agonistical (adjective), more agonistical, most agonistical
Referring to competitions that initially took place in Ancient Greece: In his book about Greece, Tom read about the agonistical athletic contests that were very important in Greek life.
agonistics (s) (noun) (no pl)
The science of athletic skirmishes or contests in public games: Agonistics can be explained as the art of combat or competitions in atheletic games.
agonize (verb), agonizes; agonized; agonizing
1. To make convulsive efforts; to struggle; to strive in physical exercise: The hikers were agonising in the hot sun as they were climbing up the high mountain.
2. To be in agony; to be in great pain: Susan agonized over the difficult decision that had to be made before making the final phone call.
agonized (adjective), more agonized, most agonized
Pertaining to severe concern or pain: Jill could understand the agonized worry and anxiety that her mother had regarding the health of her father.
agonizer (s) (noun), agonizers (pl)
One who inflicts pain or worry: In the middle of the night Susan heard the agonizers, or mosquitoes, buzzing around and wanting to suck her blood!
agonizing (adjective), more agonizing, most agonizing
Regarding something that causes mental or physical pain: Lynn thought that labor pains were the most agonizing kind of physical suffering she could remember, but they disappeared and were gone as soon as the baby arrived!

Cross references of word families related directly, or indirectly, to: "master, lead, leading, ruler, ruling, govern": -agogic; arch-; -crat; dom-; gov-; magist-; poten-; regi-; tyran-.