a song, as of praise, devotion, or patriotism: the national anthem of Spain; our college anthem.
a piece of sacred vocal music, usually with words taken from the Scriptures.
a hymn sung alternately by different sections of a choir or congregation.
verb (used with object)
to celebrate with or in an anthem.

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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
anthem (ˈænθəm)
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
[Old English antemne, from Late Latin antiphōnaantiphon]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. ontemn, antefn, "a composition (in prose or verse) sung antiphonally," from L.L. antefana, from Gk. 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 ref.
to the English national song (technically a hymn) and extended to those of other nations.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The construction crane is now the city's emblem, the racket of drills its
Ask students if they are familiar with their own national anthem.
It's also the enraged anthem of anyone who's had problems with cell phone
As part of the daily morning activates at his high school, the national anthem
  is played.
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