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 The Seahawks scheduled a workout with Kaepernick in April 2018, but the workout reportedly was canceled after Kaepernick would not rule out kneeling during the national anthem. oregonlive, "Colin Kaepernick drawing ‘legitimate interest’ from teams: Report," 26 June 2020 Colin Kaepernick, who was the quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers at the time, began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to protest racial injustice. Allen Kim, CNN, "Carolina Panthers coach becomes 2nd to say he may kneel alongside his players," 26 June 2020 The Browns have been at the forefront of social injustice initiatives especially since Colin Kaepernick rocked the NFL world by first kneeling during the national anthem in 2016. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland, "Browns and Andrew Berry launch ‘Be The Solution’ to fight social injustice," 25 June 2020 In an unprecedented show of solidarity, every team member on pit road lined up behind him during the national anthem. Jenna Fryer, Anchorage Daily News, "Rope found hanging in Wallace garage was not targeted at the Black NASCAR driver, FBI says," 24 June 2020 Typically, the Ford family is not present on the sideline during the national anthem. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Sheila Ford Hamp: Detroit Lions can sign Colin Kaepernick if Bob Quinn, coaches choose to," 23 June 2020 Standing alongside Wallace for the national anthem was Richard Petty, the 82-year-old Hall of Fame driver known as The King. John Zenor,, "Blaney wins at Talladega after NASCAR unites behind Wallace," 22 June 2020 Goodell didn't say what the league would do if President Trump continued to criticize it if players kneeled for the national anthem. CBS News, "Momentum building for Colin Kaepernick's NFL return," 16 June 2020 The episode began with Perlman taking issue with a tweet from Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., over U.S. Soccer requiring players to stand for the national anthem. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "Cruz engages in flame war with ‘Hellboy,’ in tweetstorm that spotlights peddler of ‘Pizzagate’ hoax," 15 June 2020

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 entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about anthem

Time Traveler for anthem

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for anthem

Last Updated

29 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Anthem.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!