- The definition of an anathema is a person or thing who is detested or hated.
Adolf Hitler is an example of an anathema.
anathema definition by Webster's New World
- 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: Ecclesiastical Late Latin ; from Classical Greek thing devoted to evil; previously, anything devoted ; from anatithenai, to dedicate ; from ana-, up plush tithenai, to place: see do
- greatly detested
- viewed as accursed or damned
- subjected to an ecclesiastical anathema
anathema definition by American Heritage Dictionary
noun pl. a·nath·e·mas
- 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: Late Latin anathema, doomed offering, accursed thing, from Greek, from anatithenai, anathe-, to dedicate : ana-, ana- + tithenai, to put; see dhē- in Indo-European roots.