A protagonist is the central character in a story: the protagonist of Huckleberry Finn is — guess who? — Huckleberry Finn.

A novel, movie, or play might have many main characters, but it can really only have one protagonist — or maybe two in the case of, say, Romeo and Juliet. That's because protos means "first" in Greek, and agonistes means "competitor" or "actor." It can also mean a leading figure in a real-life situation: "Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis were the protagonists of the U.S. Civil War." Don't use it to mean "a supporter of an idea or cause"; the word you're looking for in that situation is proponent.

Definitions of protagonist

n the principal character in a work of fiction

Example of:
character, fictional character, fictitious character
an imaginary person represented in a work of fiction (play or film or story)
a protagonist who lacks the characteristics that would make him a hero (or her a heroine)

n a person who backs a politician or a team etc.

admirer, booster, champion, friend, supporter
show 42 types...
hide 42 types...
anglophil, anglophile
an admirer of England and things English
believer, truster
a supporter who accepts something as true
a devoted admirer and recorder of another's words and deeds
an enthusiastic and vocal supporter
a supporter of the Confederate States of America
a supporter of corporatism
enthusiast, partisan, partizan
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
an adherent of functionalism
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
a supporter of parliament and Oliver Cromwell during the English Civil War
someone who endorses a motion or petition as a necessary preliminary to a discussion or vote
an admirer of G. B. Shaw or his works
endorser, indorser, ratifier, subscriber
someone who expresses strong approval
sympathiser, sympathizer, well-wisher
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
verifier, voucher
someone who vouches for another or for the correctness of a statement
a supporter of the American Revolution
a believer in abiogenesis
addict, freak, junkie, junky, nut
someone who is so ardently devoted to something that it resembles an addiction
an ardent early supporter of a cause or reform
someone who demonstrates enthusiastic or excessive cordiality
a ballet enthusiast
bleeding heart
someone who is excessively sympathetic toward those who claim to be exploited or underprivileged
a believer in colonialism
Confederate soldier
a soldier in the Army of the Confederacy during the American Civil War
Confucian, Confucianist
a believer in the teachings of Confucius
a person who believes in organic evolution
fanatic, fiend
a person motivated by irrational enthusiasm (as for a cause)
fellow traveler, fellow traveller
a communist sympathizer (but not a member of the Communist Party)
a person who delights in designing or building or using gadgets
a believer in imperialism
a believer in Malthusian theory
a photography enthusiast
fan, rooter, sports fan
an enthusiastic devotee of sports
one who believes in vitalism
Type of:
advocate, advocator, exponent, proponent
a person who pleads for a cause or propounds an idea

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