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

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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

This year’s singer, Gladys Knight, has an over/under of 107 seconds on the length of time to sing the anthem. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "Weirder Wagers: 7 Strange Ways You Can Bet on the Super Bowl," 30 Jan. 2019 In the past year the singer has been nominated for a Grammy, won an MTV Music Video Award, nailed the national anthem at the Super Bowl despite having the flu, and released the chart-topping album Beautiful Trauma. Tiffany Blackstone, Redbook, "Playing Mom and Rock Star: Pink Says "She's Never Juggled So Many Damn Plates"," 14 May 2018 Some teams stayed off the field during the anthem entirely. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The History of NFL Player Protests During the National Anthem," 9 Sep. 2018 President Donald Trump has previously expressed his disdain towards athletes who kneel during the anthem, tweeting about it numerous times, but the White House celebration for the Eagles was scheduled as usual. Alix Langone, Time, "White House Says Philadelphia Eagles ‘Unable’ to Attend Super Bowl Celebration Because They ‘Disagree’ With Trump on the National Anthem," 5 June 2018 Vice President Mike Pence walked out of a Colts game in October when members of the San Francisco 49ers protested during the anthem. Lorenzo Reyes And Zak Keefer, Indianapolis Star, "Colts on NFL's new anthem policy: 'Obviously, we’re keeping an eye' on it," 23 May 2018 As players from the Twins and New York Yankees lined up on the field for the national anthem, local police, fire and emergency personnel stood between them during the song. Mike Fitzpatrick, The Seattle Times, "MLB commemorates 9/11 anniversary with ballpark ceremonies," 11 Sep. 2018 Your Daily Dose of | Patriotism Whether it’s apple pie, the national anthem or dissent, patriotism is in the eye of the American. Oona Goodin-smith,, "Why Philly is a bad place to get bedbugs, ringing in the Fourth with protests and Pitbull | Morning Newsletter," 5 July 2018 Instead, the White House hosted a celebration on the importance of standing for the national anthem and flag. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "This is how NFL players are responding to President Trump's rhetoric," 18 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

10 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce anthem (audio) \

Kids Definition of anthem

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

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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).


to corrupt or become corrupted

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