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Word of the Day
Friday, March 19, 2004

Definitions for anathema

  1. A ban or curse pronounced with religious solemnity by ecclesiastical authority, and accompanied by excommunication. Hence: Denunciation of anything as accursed.
  2. An imprecation; a curse; a malediction.
  3. Any person or thing anathematized, or cursed by ecclesiastical authority.

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Citations for anathema
The Communists were not prepared to accept any compromises; it was anathema to them that Tibet should have an international personality beyond being a region of China. Tsering Shakya, The Dragon in the Land of Snows:A History of Modern Tibet Since 1947
Academies, the argument went, were anathema to creativity. Deborah Solomon, New York Times
Origin of anathema
Anathema comes from the Greek word meaning "a thing devoted," especially a thing devoted to evil, hence "a curse," from anatithenai, "to dedicate, to set up," from ana, "up" + tithenai, "to place or put."