Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Protagonist


English Wikipedia has an article on:


From Ancient Greek πρωταγωνιστής (prōtagōnistḗs, a chief actor), from πρῶτος (prôtos, first) + ἀγωνιστής (agōnistḗs, a combatant, pleader, actor).

Surface analysis prot- (first) +‎ agonist (combatant, participant).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /pɹəˈtæ.ɡə.nɪst/
  • (US) IPA(key): /pɹoʊˈtæ.ɡə.nɪst/
  • (file)


protagonist (plural protagonists)

  1. (authorship) The main character, or one of the main characters, in any story, such as a literary work or drama.
  2. A leading person in a contest; a principal performer.
  3. (proscribed) An advocate or champion of a cause or course of action.

Usage notes[edit]

The use of protagonist to mean a proponent or supporter of a cause is a 20th century development that may have been influenced by the misunderstanding that the first syllable of the word is the prefix pro-, meaning favouring.[1] This usage is widely considered to be erroneous.[2][3]


The terms below need to be checked and allocated to the definitions (senses) of the headword above. Each term should appear in the sense for which it is appropriate. Use the templates {{syn|en|...}} or {{ant|en|...}} to add them to the appropriate sense(s).

Coordinate terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language[1], Fifth edition, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018, archived from the original on 6 September 2018, retrieved 6 September 2018
  2. ^ Pinker, Steven (2014) The Sense of Style, New York, New York: Penguin, →ISBN
  3. ^ Feloni, Richard (30 November 2015), “The 58 Most Commonly Misused Words and Phrases”, in The Indepedent, Independent Print Limited, archived from the original on 6 September 2018, retrieved 6 September 2018



protagonist c (singular definite protagonisten, plural indefinite protagonister)

  1. (literature) protagonist



Further reading[edit]