anthem

[ an-thuh m ]
/ ˈæn θəm /

noun

a song, as of praise, devotion, or patriotism: the national anthem of Spain; our college anthem.
a piece of sacred vocal music, usually with words taken from the Scriptures.
a hymn sung alternately by different sections of a choir or congregation.

verb (used with object)

to celebrate with or in an anthem.

Origin of anthem

before 1000; Middle English antem, Old English antemn(e), antefne < Late Latin antefana, antiphōna (feminine singular) < Greek antíphōna (see antiphon); spelling with h probably by association with hymn, with pronunciation then changed to reflect spelling
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for anthem

British Dictionary definitions for anthem

anthem

/ (ˈænθəm) /

noun

a song of loyalty or devotion, as to a nation or collegea national anthem
a musical composition for a choir, usually set to words from the Bible, sung as part of a church service
a religious chant sung antiphonally
a popular rock or pop song
Derived Formsanthemic (ænˈθɛmɪk), adjective

Word Origin for anthem

Old English antemne, from Late Latin antiphōna antiphon
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for anthem

anthem


n.

Old English ontemn, antefn, "a composition (in prose or verse) sung antiphonally," from Late Latin antefana, from Greek antiphona "verse response" (see antiphon). Sense evolved to "a composition set to sacred music" (late 14c.), then "song of praise or gladness" (1590s). Used in reference to the English national song (technically, as OED points out, a hymn) and extended to those of other nations. Modern spelling is from late 16c., perhaps an attempt to make the word look more Greek.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper