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anthem

[an-thuh m] /ˈæn θəm/
noun
1.
a song, as of praise, devotion, or patriotism:
the national anthem of Spain; our college anthem.
2.
a piece of sacred vocal music, usually with words taken from the Scriptures.
3.
a hymn sung alternately by different sections of a choir or congregation.
verb (used with object)
4.
to celebrate with or in an anthem.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English antem, Old English antemn(e), antefne < Late Latin antefana, antiphōna (feminine singular) < Greek antíphōna (see antiphon); spelling with h probably by association with hymn, with pronunciation then changed to reflect spelling
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for ant-hem

anthem

/ˈænθəm/
noun
1.
a song of loyalty or devotion, as to a nation or college a national anthem
2.
a musical composition for a choir, usually set to words from the Bible, sung as part of a church service
3.
a religious chant sung antiphonally
4.
a popular rock or pop song
Derived Forms
anthemic (ænˈθɛmɪk) adjective
Word Origin
Old English antemne, from Late Latin antiphōnaantiphon
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for ant-hem

anthem

n.

Old English ontemn, antefn, "a composition (in prose or verse) sung antiphonally," from Late Latin antefana, from Greek antiphona "verse response" (see antiphon). Sense evolved to "a composition set to sacred music" (late 14c.), then "song of praise or gladness" (1590s). Used in reference to the English national song (technically, as OED points out, a hymn) and extended to those of other nations. Modern spelling is from late 16c., perhaps an attempt to make the word look more Greek.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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