- a person or thing detested or loathed: That subject is anathema to him.
- a person or thing accursed or consigned to damnation or destruction.
- a formal ecclesiastical curse involving excommunication.
- any imprecation of divine punishment.
- a curse; execration.
Origin of anathema
Examples from the Web for anathema
After a few experiments I learned that I could skip those movies, and Tyler Perry was anathema in my book.Prisoners Get Cultural Fix with 8-Tracks and Bootleg Cassettes
August 18, 2014
American politics with its razzmatazz and movie stars were an anathema.The Ugly Truth About Ugly Politicians
July 26, 2014
In his opinion, the “path to citizenship” for immigrants, which is anathema to many conservatives, is absolutely essential.Cardinal O'Malley: Pope Francis Knows Immigrants Are the Future of the Church
June 4, 2014
The occasional yellow or red was acceptable, but the suggestion of a blue dress was met with distress, and brown was anathema.Why I Finally Let My Girls Be Girly
May 17, 2014
Government regulations were not anathema to the market but requisite.Obamacare Is as American as the Founding Fathers
April 1, 2014
You will do the anathema--rueful rather than enraged--from the tent opening.The Forest
Stewart Edward White
God commands Moses to devote to anathema the Canaanites of the kingdom of Arad.
He devotes also to anathema all the nations of the land of Canaan.
Then he flung a hand out at Rotherby in a gesture of repudiation, of anathema.The Lion's Skin
There should be launched upon him the anathema of an outraged people.
- a detested person or thinghe is anathema to me
- a formal ecclesiastical curse of excommunication or a formal denunciation of a doctrine
- the person or thing so cursed
- a strong curse; imprecation
Word Origin and History for anathema
1520s, "an accursed thing," from Latin anathema "an excommunicated person; the curse of excommunication," from Greek anathema "a thing accursed," originally "a thing devoted," literally "a thing set up (to the gods)," from ana- "up" (see ana-) + tithenai "to place," from PIE root *dhe- "to put, to do" (see factitious).
Originally simply a votive offering, by the time it reached Latin the meaning had progressed through "thing devoted to evil," to "thing accursed or damned." Later applied to persons and the Divine Curse. Meaning "formal act or formula of consigning to damnation" is from 1610s.
Anathema maranatha, taken as an intensified form, is a misreading of the Syriac maran etha "the Lord hath come," which follows anathema in I Cor. xvi:22, but is not connected with it (see Maranatha).