protagonist

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pro·tag·o·nist

 (prō-tăg′ə-nĭst)
n.
1. The main character in a work of fiction, as a play, film, or novel.
2. In ancient Greek drama, the first actor to engage in dialogue with the chorus, in later dramas playing the main character and some minor characters as well.
3.
a. A leading or principal figure.
b. The leader of a cause; a champion.
4. Usage Problem A proponent; an advocate.

[Greek prōtagōnistēs : prōto-, proto- + agōnistēs, actor, combatant (from agōnizesthai, to contend, from agōn, contest, from agein, to drive, lead; see ag- in Indo-European roots).]
Usage Note: The protagonist of a Greek drama was its leading actor; therefore, there could be only one in a play. Ancient Greek also had words for the second and third actor. These were borrowed into English as deuteragonist and tritagonist, respectively, but the two terms are generally used only in technical discussions of drama. As early as 1671 John Dryden used protagonists to mean simply "important actors" or "principal characters": " 'Tis charg'd upon me that I make debauch'd persons ... my protagonists, or the chief persons of the drama." Some writers may still prefer to confine protagonist to its original singular sense, but it is useless now to insist that the looser use is wrong, since it is so well established and since so many literary works have no single main character. The Usage Panel accepts the looser use. In our 2004 survey, 86 percent of the Panel approved of the sentence Joyce's Ulysses has two protagonists: Leopold Bloom and Stephen Daedalus. Similarly, 84 percent accepted The novel, written from multiple points of view, has several protagonists. · Some people use protagonist to refer to a proponent, a usage that became common only in the 20th century and may have been influenced by a misunderstanding that the first syllable of the word is the prefix pro-, "favoring." Many readers will therefore find erroneous a sentence like He was an early protagonist of nuclear power. Certainly, most of the Usage Panel does. In 2004, 83 percent rejected this same sentence. Fortunately, words like advocate and proponent are standard in these contexts.

protagonist

(prəʊˈtæɡənɪst)
n
1. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) the principal character in a play, story, etc
2. a supporter, esp when important or respected, of a cause, political party, etc
[C17: from Greek prōtagōnistēs, from prōtos first + agōnistēs actor]
proˈtagonism n

pro•tag•o•nist

(proʊˈtæg ə nɪst)

n.
1. the leading character of a drama or other literary work.
2. a chief proponent or leader of a movement, cause, etc.
3. (in ancient Greek drama) the actor who played the main role and other roles as well.
4. Physiol. agonist (def. 3).
[1665–75; < Greek prōtagōnistḗs principal actor, leader =prôt(os) first + agōnistḗs contestant, actor. See proto-, antagonist]

protagonist

the principal character in the drama.
See also: Drama
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.protagonist - a person who backs a politician or a team etc.protagonist - a person who backs a politician or a team etc.; "all their supporters came out for the game"; "they are friends of the library"
advocate, advocator, exponent, proponent - a person who pleads for a cause or propounds an idea
anglophil, anglophile - an admirer of England and things English
believer, truster - a supporter who accepts something as true
Boswell - a devoted admirer and recorder of another's words and deeds
cheerleader - an enthusiastic and vocal supporter; "he has become a cheerleader for therapeutic cloning"
Confederate - a supporter of the Confederate States of America
corporatist - a supporter of corporatism
enthusiast, partizan, partisan - an ardent and enthusiastic supporter of some person or activity
Francophil, Francophile - an admirer of France and everything French
free trader - an advocate of unrestricted international trade
functionalist - an adherent of functionalism
Jacobite - a supporter of James II after he was overthrown or a supporter of the Stuarts
loyalist, stalwart - a person who is loyal to their allegiance (especially in times of revolt)
New Dealer - a supporter of the economic policies in the United States known as the New Deal
Graecophile, philhellene, philhellenist - an admirer of Greece and everything Greek
mainstay, pillar - a prominent supporter; "he is a pillar of the community"
Roundhead - a supporter of parliament and Oliver Cromwell during the English Civil War
seconder - someone who endorses a motion or petition as a necessary preliminary to a discussion or vote
Shavian - an admirer of G. B. Shaw or his works
endorser, indorser, ratifier, subscriber - someone who expresses strong approval
well-wisher, sympathiser, sympathizer - someone who shares your feelings or opinions and hopes that you will be successful
toaster, wassailer - someone who proposes a toast; someone who drinks to the health of success of someone or some venture
maintainer, sustainer, upholder - someone who upholds or maintains; "firm upholders of tradition"; "they are sustainers of the idea of democracy"
verifier, voucher - someone who vouches for another or for the correctness of a statement
Whig - a supporter of the American Revolution
2.protagonist - the principal character in a work of fictionprotagonist - the principal character in a work of fiction
antihero - a protagonist who lacks the characteristics that would make him a hero (or her a heroine)

protagonist

noun
1. supporter, leader, champion, advocate, exponent, mainstay, prime mover, standard-bearer, moving spirit, torchbearer an active protagonist of his country's membership of the EU
2. leading character, lead, principal, central character, hero or heroine the protagonist of J.D. Salinger's novel

protagonist

noun
The main performer in a theatrical production:
Translations
päähenkilö
主人公
hovedpersonprotagonist

protagonist

[prəʊˈtægənɪst] Nprotagonista mf

protagonist

[prəʊˈtægənɪst] nprotagoniste m/f

protagonist

n (esp Liter) → Protagonist(in) m(f); (= champion, supporter)Verfechter(in) m(f)

protagonist

[prəʊˈtægənɪst] nprotagonista m/f
References in periodicals archive ?
And, for the first 10 minutes or so - as our hapless protaganist Henry explained the use of the words tofu, banana and cucumber as metaphors for describing various stages of male tumescence, all the while eyeing up men in the supermarket - it seemed Davies was making up for a paucity of new things to say with a barrage of sexually graphic imagery.
Home Alone Forever,'' by Steve Subrizi: This Boston singer-songwriter's latest album is strange, off-kilter and, at times, a little heartbreaking, but the underlying pluckiness of the whole thing gives the album heart, and transforms it from something that could be terribly depressing into something that's endearing, that makes you want to root for Subrizi's hard-luck protaganist.
New singers joining the cast include baritone Nicholas Folwell as protaganist Charles Frieth, mezzo Arlene Rolph as his scheming Polish housekeeper Maria, and South Wales-based soprano Gail Pearson as Charles' long-suffering wife Antonia.
This futuristic vision of the Faust legend, with a woman as the protaganist, should get a megically colorful production by the Catalan theatre group, Comediants.
The Christmas spirit tale about the pink-eyed protaganist with a heart two sizes too small is as poignant today as it was in 1957.
A New Protaganist for Oregon's Rivers: The Water Resources
The sense of melancholic loss identified in The Age of Innocence's protaganist Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis) is, Nicholls claims, seductive and empowering but also deliberately engineered and created by the melancholic himself.
Tchana's protaganist is a brave child who is not only sure of herself but is a quick thinker.
I told them the protaganist was put to death, step by step.
This is what Grossman attempts to convey, often through the eyes of a first- or third-person child protaganist, in fiction rich in plot construction as well as racy journalism, all based on the timbre of the human voice and the pain of experienced history.
When it becomes apparent that Auguste is involved and even subverting the CIA sub-plot which it takes our protaganist so long to tune in to, Gillespie's claim to superiority is undermined.
Much has changed in foreign reporting since 1939 when Huntley Haverstock, the protaganist of Alfred Hitchcock's "Foreign Correspondent," was advised how to do his new job by a drunken London colleague: "All you do is cable back the government handouts and sign them: Our London Correspondent.