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Definition of "anathema" []

  • A formal ecclesiastical ban, curse, or excommunication. (noun)
  • A vehement denunciation; a curse: "the sound of a witch's anathemas in some unknown tongue” ( Nathaniel Hawthorne). (noun)
  • One that is cursed or damned. (noun)
  • 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). (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "anathema" in a sentence
  • "Of course (he says self-servingly) the No Spin Zone rejects predictability entirely and lives to ask questions that require actual thought, a word anathema to most politicians in this age of spin."
  • "I'm just excited I used the word anathema in a sentence!"
  • "The word anathema frequently occurs in St. Paul's writings, and is generally translated accused."