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

On the subject of timeless rock anthems: What’s your favorite? Paul Daugherty,, "Doc's Morning Line: Here's why the U.S. women's soccer World Cup team did the right thing," 13 June 2019 Not long after the final notes of the national anthems had faded into the ether so the difference in quality became obvious, too. Aimee Lewis, CNN, "US breaks scoring record in emphatic Women's World Cup display," 11 June 2019 The stations are among 93 Gray markets across the country announcing the national anthem change. Leada Gore |,, "Alabama television stations bringing back national anthem to mark end of day," 10 June 2019 The song is a gritty, defiant women's empowerment anthem that reclaims gendered insults. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Miley Cyrus Responds to Being "Grabbed Without Consent" with a Powerful Statement," 5 June 2019 But Macron is no longer the fresh-faced force who marched into a surprising presidential victory to the rhythm of the EU anthem two years ago. Angela Charlton, The Seattle Times, "No more Mr Europe: Macron forced to curb EU ambitions," 20 May 2019 In Britain, the national anthem would be altered to 'God Save The King,' and new stamps, banknotes and coins would be issued with an image of the male monarch. Katie Frost, Town & Country, "What Will Happen When Queen Elizabeth II Dies?," 25 Mar. 2019 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

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

16 Jun 2019

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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 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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incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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