an·​them | \ ˈan(t)-thəm How to pronounce anthem (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from anthem

anthemic \ ˌan(t)-​ˈthē-​mik How to pronounce anthemic (audio) , -​ˈthe-​ \ adjective

Examples of anthem in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

On the Champs Elysées, some protesters sang the national anthem and waved French flags, while others carried signs urging the president to resign. Noemie Bisserbe, WSJ, "Police Use Tear Gas as Thousands in Paris Defy Protest Ban," 24 Nov. 2018 One of China’s most famous online celebrities was detained for five days after singing the national anthem badly. Stavros Agorakis, Vox, "Vox Sentences: Lights out in Northern California," 16 Oct. 2018 After Lady Gaga sang the national anthem at the 2016 Super Bowl, Twitter was flooded with people expressing their genuine shock at her voice. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Lady Gaga Didn't Need A Star Is Born to Be Taken Seriously," 28 Sep. 2018 In addition to singing the national anthem, Guitars Over Guns will receive $25,000 from the Marlins. Jordan Mcpherson, miamiherald, "This local group helps kids grow with music. On Friday, they will sing at Marlins Park," 12 July 2018 Even before a ball had been kicked, the Panama national team had sparked tears of joy from many back home by lining up to sing the national anthem alone., "Increasing the Amount of Teams at the World Cup Is a Great Idea, Even if the Quality Will Diminish," 2 July 2018 Still, all around me, almost everybody wore the red jerseys of the Marea Roja, or Red Tide, and loudly sang the national anthem at the start of the game, a particular point of pride for any small country at an international event. New York Times, "From My Seat, Panama Won the World Cup," 28 June 2018 During Connersville’s state championship season, Cox sang the national anthem before home games. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "1972 Mr. Basketball Phil Cox was one-of-a-kind," 19 June 2018 After an light show involving a Knight and sword fighting, Carnell Jones stepped forward to sing the national anthem. Iliana Limón Romero,, "UCF fans take issue with Las Vegas Golden Knights' national anthem twist," 29 May 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about anthem

Statistics for anthem

Last Updated

21 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for anthem

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for anthem


an·​them | \ ˈan-thəm How to pronounce anthem (audio) \

Kids Definition of anthem

1 : a sacred song usually sung by a church choir
2 : a patriotic song

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on anthem

What made you want to look up anthem? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a strong desire or propensity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!