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Word of the Day
Monday, November 14, 2016

Definitions for anathema

  1. a person or thing detested or loathed: That subject is anathema to him.
  2. a person or thing accursed or consigned to damnation or destruction.
  3. a formal ecclesiastical curse involving excommunication.

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Citations for anathema
Physical labor had always been anathema to him and the thought of wielding an axe to cut down trees scared him so much that he would have preferred to become a tramp. Émile Zola, "Priests and Sinners," The Attack on the Mill and Other Stories, translated by Douglas Parmée, 1984
… [The job] required a dedicated man, someone whose sense of pride and self-esteem were so compelling that the mere suggestion of defeat was anathema to his nature. Matt Braun, The Second Coming of Lucas Brokaw, 1977
Origin of anathema
1520-1530
Anathema derives from the Late Latin noun anathema "curse of excommunication, excommunication," from the Hellenistic Greek anáthema originally "anything dedicated," later "a curse," and in the Septuagint (the oldest Greek version of the Old Testament) "a thing devoted to evil." The word entered English in the early 1500s.