protagonist [proh-tag-uh-nist] (previously 03-20-13)
1. the leading character, hero, or heroine of a drama or other literary work.
2. a proponent for or advocate of a political cause, social program, etc.
3. the leader or principal person in a movement, cause, etc.
4. the first actor in ancient Greek drama, who played not only the main role, but also other roles when the main character was offstage.
Compare deuteragonist, tritagonist.
5. Physiology. agonist.
Can be confused
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Origin: 1665-75; < Greek prōtagōnistḗs actor who plays the first part, literally, first combatant, equivalent to prôt(os) first + agōnistḗs one who contends for a prize, combatant, actor. See proto-, antagonist
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