- The definition of an anathema is a person or thing who is detested or hated.
Adolf Hitler is an example of an anathema.
- a thing or person accursed or damned
- a thing or person greatly detested
- a solemn ecclesiastical condemnation of a teaching judged to be gravely opposed to accepted church doctrine, or of the originators or supporters of such a teaching
- the excommunication often accompanying or following this condemnation
Origin of anathemaEcclesiastical Late Latin ; from Classical Greek thing devoted to evil; previously, anything devoted ; from anatithenai, to dedicate ; from ana-, up + tithenai, to place: see do
- greatly detested
- viewed as accursed or damned
- subjected to an ecclesiastical anathema
- A formal ecclesiastical ban, curse, or excommunication.
- A vehement denunciation; a curse: “the sound of a witch's anathemas in some unknown tongue” (Nathaniel Hawthorne).
- One that is cursed or damned.
- One that is greatly reviled, loathed, or shunned: “Essentialism—a belief in natural, immutable sex differences—is anathema to postmodernists, for whom sexuality itself, along with gender, is a ‘social construct’” (Wendy Kaminer).
Origin of anathemaLate Latin, doomed offering, accursed thing, from Greek, from anatithenai, anathe-, to dedicate : ana-, ana- + tithenai, to put; see dhē- in Indo-European roots.
(plural anathemas or anathemata)
- A ban or curse pronounced with religious solemnity by ecclesiastical authority, often accompanied by excommunication; something denounced as accursed.
- By extension, something which is vehemently disliked by somebody.
- An imprecation; a curse; a malediction.
- Any person or thing anathematized, or cursed by ecclesiastical authority.
From Late Latin anathema (“curse, person cursed, offering”), from Ancient Greek ἀνάθεμα (anathema, “something dedicated, especially dedicated to evil”), from ἀνατίθημι (anatithēmi, “I set upon, offer as a votive gift”), from ἀνά (ana, “upon”) + τίθημι (tithēmi, “I put, place”). The Ancient Greek term was influenced by Hebrew חרם (herem), leading to the sense of "accursed," especially in Ecclesiastical writers.