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 anthem (audio) , -​ˈthe-​ \ adjective

Examples of anthem in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In one email from 2018, Allen shares his views on players who kneel during the national anthem with Mark Levin, the host of a conservative radio talk show. Tom Schad, USA TODAY, 13 Oct. 2021 In another email, Gruden suggested that Eric Reid be fired for demonstrating during the national anthem, the Times reports. Dan Heching,, 13 Oct. 2021 Kaepernick, 33, hasn't played in a professional football game since 2016 after leading the kneeling protests during the national anthem to bring attention to police brutality and racial injustice. Zoe Christen Jones, CBS News, 13 Oct. 2021 Gruden also wrote that Eric Reid, a player who kneeled during the national anthem to protest racial injustices, should be fired. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, 12 Oct. 2021 Eric Reid was one of the first players to kneel during the anthem. Kurt Streeter, New York Times, 12 Oct. 2021 But freedom of speech also is why former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was allowed to speak out on police brutality against Black people and to take a knee during the national anthem in protest, starting a movement. Paul Sullivan,, 11 Oct. 2021 Shoulder to shoulder and interspersed, players from the New York Mets and Yankees shared the diamond during the national anthem Saturday night at Citi Field with first responders, former players and a giant ribbon imprinted with the American flag., 12 Sep. 2021 Kaepernick and others who knelt during the anthem set off an intense backlash by some fans and conservatives, including then-President Donald Trump, who accused them of being unpatriotic., 5 Sep. 2021

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

Dictionary Entries Near anthem




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for anthem

Last Updated

16 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Anthem.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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

More from Merriam-Webster on anthem

Nglish: Translation of anthem for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of anthem for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about anthem


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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