When 16th-century English speakers needed a verb meaning "to condemn by anathema" (that is, by an official curse from church authority), "anathematize" proved to be just the right word. But "anathematize" didn't originate in English as a combination of the noun "anathema" and the suffix -ize. Rather, our verb is based on forebears in Late Latin ("anathematizare") and Greek ("anathematizein"). "Anathematize" can still indicate solemn, formal condemnation, but today it can also have milder applications. The same is true of "anathema," which now often means simply "a vigorous denunciation."
Examples of anathematize in a Sentence
heretics anathematized by the church leaders
fundamentalist preachers who anathematize any departure from a literal interpretation of the Bible
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anathematize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.