anathema

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Late Latin anathema (curse, person cursed, offering), itself a borrowing from Ancient Greek ἀνάθεμα (anáthema, something dedicated, especially dedicated to evil), from ἀνατίθημι (anatíthēmi, I set upon, offer as a votive gift), from ἀνά (aná, upon) + τίθημι (títhēmi, I put, place). The Ancient Greek term was influenced by Hebrew חרם (herem), leading to the sense of "accursed," especially in Ecclesiastical writers.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /əˈnæθəmə/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: a‧na‧the‧ma

Noun[edit]

anathema (plural anathemas or anathemata)

  1. (ecclesiastical, historical) A ban or curse pronounced with religious solemnity by ecclesiastical authority, often accompanied by excommunication; something denounced as accursed. [from early 17th c.]
    Synonyms: ban, curse
  2. (by extension) Something which is vehemently disliked by somebody.
    Synonyms: bête noire
    • 2015 January 18, Monty Munford, “What’s the point of carrying a mobile phone nowadays?”, in The Daily Telegraph[1]:
      Even three years ago, the thought of spending two hours, let alone a whole day, without my mobile would have been anathema.
  3. (literary) An imprecation; a curse; a malediction.
    • 2002, Joseph O'Conner, Star of the Sea, Vintage 2003, p. 30:
      That was a curse from which no flight was possible: the anathema of a man who had once known holiness.
  4. (ecclesiastical) Any person or thing anathematized, or cursed by ecclesiastical authority. [from 1520s]
    • John Locke
      The Jewish nation were an anathema destined to destruction.
    • 1885, “The Anathemas of Cyril in Opposition to Nestorius”, in Philip Schaff, editor, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (II), volume III:
      If any one refuses to confess that the Word of God the Father is united in hypostasis to flesh, and is one Christ with His own flesh, the same being at once both God and man, let him be anathema.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

New Advent: The Catholic on-line encyclopedia.


Latin[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Ancient Greek ἀνάθεμα (anáthema, something dedicated, especially dedicated to evil).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

anathema n (genitive anathematis); third declension

  1. offering (especially the life of a person)
  2. curse
  3. excommunication

Inflection[edit]

Third declension neuter.

Case Singular Plural
nominative anathema anathemata
genitive anathematis anathematum
dative anathematī anathematibus
accusative anathema anathemata
ablative anathemate anathematibus
vocative anathema anathemata

References[edit]