Word of the Day

Friday, March 19, 2004

anathema

\uh-NATH-uh-muh\ , noun;
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.
4.
Any person or thing that is intensely disliked.
Quotes:
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, "How to Succeed In Art", New York Times, June 27, 1999
Advertising was anathema to the Internet ethos, theysaid, and people would never pay for on-line material.
-- Steve Lohr, "The Freewheeling Net Meets the Free Market", New York Times, June 9, 1996
Origin:
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."
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