an·​them | \ˈan(t)-thəm \

Definition of anthem 

1 : a song or hymn of praise or gladness a patriotic anthem

2 : a usually rousing popular song that typifies or is identified with a particular subculture, movement, or point of view anthems of teenage angst

3a : a psalm or hymn sung antiphonally or responsively

b : a sacred vocal composition with words usually from the Scriptures

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Other Words from anthem

anthemic \ˌan(t)-​ˈthē-​mik, -​ˈthe-​ \ adjective

Examples of anthem in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Kaepernick began kneeling during the playing of the national anthem before NFL games in 2016, and went unemployed by the league the following two years. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Watch: Nike’s powerful Colin Kaepernick commercial," 5 Sep. 2018 Case in point, Nike’s embrace of quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was ostracized by the NFL for protesting racial injustice during the national anthem before games. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Colin Kaepernick’s Nike ads are just one piece of a bigger ‘reckoning’ in the fashion industry," 20 Sep. 2018 That ended after Schnatter came under fire for blaming the NFL's response to the national anthem protests for his company's declining pizza sales. Kate Talerico, The Courier-Journal, "MLB suspends 'Papa Slam' promotion with Papa John's after racial slur," 12 July 2018 And despite the star appeal of the NBA and the carping about the NFL, concussions and anthem protests, NFL media contracts and popularity dwarf that of the NBA and all other sports leagues. Andrew Brandt,, "How NFL and NBA Contracts Differ, and What NFL Players Can Do to Change It," 10 July 2018 SportsPulse: Trysta Krick says the NFL's new policy on national anthem protests doesn't help anyone but the owners. Tom Schad, USA TODAY, "NFLPA files grievance challenging league's new national anthem policy," 10 July 2018 He's weighed in on controversial issues such as the NFL anthem protests and medical marijuana. Kaitlin Lange, Indianapolis Star, "'I stand before you a condemned man,': AG Curtis Hill says he's been unfairly judged," 9 July 2018 Jay-Z’s verse and the scenes of young black men kneeling acknowledge the insult that the NFL anthem-protest controversy represents for them, specifically. Taylor Hosking, The Atlantic, "Beyonce and Jay-Z’s New Vision of Gender in ‘Apeshit’," 22 June 2018 During the national anthem, a time when players tend to reveal their pride, Messi cast his eyes downward and covered his face. Bruce Jenkins,, "Brazil’s win sweet redemption for Neymar, who finally scores," 22 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anthem.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of anthem

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

History and Etymology for anthem

Middle English antem, from Old English antefn, from Late Latin antiphona, from Late Greek antiphōna, plural of antiphōnon, from Greek, neuter of antiphōnos responsive, from anti- + phōnē sound — more at ban

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Statistics for anthem

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for anthem

The first known use of anthem was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for anthem


an·​them | \ˈan-thəm \

Kids Definition of anthem

1 : a sacred song usually sung by a church choir

2 : a patriotic song

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