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Word of the Day
Monday, May 22, 2000

Definitions for anathema

  1. A ban or curse pronounced with religious solemnity by ecclesiastical authority, and accompanied by excommunication. Hence: Denunciation of anything as accursed.
  2. An imprecation; a curse; a malediction.
  3. Any person or thing anathematized, or cursed by ecclesiastical authority.

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Citations for anathema
The Communists were not prepared to accept any compromises; it was anathema to them that Tibet should have an international personality beyond being a region of China. Tsering Shakya, The Dragon in the Land of Snows:A History of Modern Tibet Since 1947
Academies, the argument went, were anathema to creativity. Deborah Solomon, New York Times
Origin of anathema
1520-1530
Anathema comes from the Greek word meaning "a thing devoted," especially a thing devoted to evil, hence "a curse," from anatithenai, "to dedicate, to set up," from ana, "up" + tithenai, "to place or put."