anathema


anath·e·ma

noun \ə-ˈna-thə-mə\

: someone or something that is very strongly disliked

Full Definition of ANATHEMA

1
a :  one that is cursed by ecclesiastical authority
b :  someone or something intensely disliked or loathed —usually used as a predicate nominative <this notion was anathema to most of his countrymen — S. J. Gould>
2
a :  a ban or curse solemnly pronounced by ecclesiastical authority and accompanied by excommunication
b :  the denunciation of something as accursed
c :  a vigorous denunciation :  curse

Examples of ANATHEMA

  1. a politician who is anathema to conservatives
  2. ideas that are an anathema to me
  3. Maugham was not only prolific but also a best-seller, though snobs dismissed his work as middlebrow (a category that few people worry about in our day but that once was anathema). —Edmund White, New York Review of Books, 12 Feb. 2009

Origin of ANATHEMA

Late Latin anathemat-, anathema, from Greek, thing devoted to evil, curse, from anatithenai to set up, dedicate, from ana- + tithenai to place, set — more at do
First Known Use: 1526

Other Religion (Eastern and Other) Terms

Zen, antinomian, avatar, gnosticism, illuminati, ineffable, karma, koan, mantra

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