an·​them ˈan(t)-thəm How to pronounce anthem (audio)
: a song or hymn of praise or gladness
a patriotic anthem
: a usually rousing popular song that typifies or is identified with a particular subculture, movement, or point of view
anthems of teenage angst
: a psalm or hymn sung antiphonally or responsively
: a sacred vocal composition with words usually from the Scriptures
anthemic adjective

Examples of anthem in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The nostalgia-rich anthem, originally written by Narada Michael Walden for the Niners’ championship march in 1984, has been refreshed and updated to help inspire both players and fans as the team gets ready to take on the Kansas City Chiefs at Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas on Sunday. Jim Harrington, The Mercury News, 7 Feb. 2024 Related In a teaser clip for the song, Alexander — dressed in a matching grey skirt and vest combo — stands atop a skyscraper, lip synching along to his new dance anthem produced by Danny L Harle. Stephen Daw, Billboard, 7 Feb. 2024 Toby Keith, a former rodeo hand, oil rigger and semipro football player who became a rowdy king of country music, singing patriotic anthems, wry drinking songs and propulsive odes to cowboy culture that collectively sold more than 40 million records, died Feb. 5 at 62. Washington Post Staff, Washington Post, 6 Feb. 2024 Her folk anthem — which Combs waxed poetic about during an introductory package for the show — shot to the No. 1 spot on the iTunes Top Songs chart moments after their performance. Nardine Saad, Los Angeles Times, 5 Feb. 2024 That decade-defining anthem, timed with the popularity of Lancôme Juicy Tubes, was lip gloss’ peak… until now. Annie Blay, Allure, 5 Feb. 2024 Since last May, the tune has become ubiquitous on social media, emerging as a worldwide anthem for the LGBTQ community and qualifying as the singer’s biggest hit of the streaming era. Todd Gilchrist, Variety, 31 Jan. 2024 The soul-stirring anthem brought him a Golden Globe nomination for best original song – motion picture, and a Critics Choice Awards nod for best song, but it was passed over on Tuesday (Jan. 23) for an Oscar nomination for best original song. Paul Grein, Billboard, 26 Jan. 2024 The initial spot sees fans singing the UCL anthem while sneaking a watch of the game in their office, or in a moving truck or working in a restaurant kitchen. Alex Weprin, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'anthem.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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 entry 1

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near anthem

Cite this Entry

“Anthem.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


an·​them ˈan(t)-thəm How to pronounce anthem (audio)
: a sacred composition with words usually from the Scriptures
: a song of praise or gladness

More from Merriam-Webster on anthem

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