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 The upbeat song, marked with a curious but clever mix of sounds, is a warning to a selfish lover that also doubles as a self-love anthem. Ineye Komonibo,, "Wafia’s “Pick Me” Is The Result Of A Radical Journey To Self-Discovery," 17 May 2020 The network complied, ending its broadcast after playing the national anthem and thanking its engineers just before 8 p.m. local time on Tuesday. Ben Westcott, CNN, "Major Philippines broadcaster regularly criticized by President Duterte forced off air," 6 May 2020 Lemon acknowledged that people have the fundamental right to protest before then bringing up other examples of nonviolent demonstrations, such as athletes kneeling during the national anthem. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "'What is wrong with people?': Don Lemon sounds off on armed stay-at-home protesters," 21 Apr. 2020 The green, yellow and red Ethiopian flag was adopted by several African countries after colonial liberation and a universal national anthem was created for black people. Yirga Gelaw Woldeyes, Quartz Africa, "124 years ago, Ethiopian men and women defeated the Italian army in the Battle of Adwa," 2 Mar. 2020 The song is the team’s victory anthem this season, played after every Stars win through the first five months of the season, as chosen by captain Jamie Benn. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "Stars’ victory song has deep meaning to the band that wrote it, but what it means to Dallas remains a mystery," 1 Mar. 2020 The pageantry included pre-start songs by the Men of Spirito and a powerful national anthem sung by Jim Cornelison, all performed under a roaring flyover by a four-plane aerobatic flight team. Graydon Megan,, "Elmhurst Turkey Trot makes its 36th run," 26 Nov. 2019 There will also be a garage sale benefiting the Miami Dolphins Foundation and a national anthem open call audition at the event. Khobi Price,, "Dolphins celebrating NFL’s 100th season with Fantennial at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday," 31 Oct. 2019 On Tuesday, the government said lawmakers will resume debate on the Chinese national anthem bill on May 27. James Griffiths, CNN, "Hong Kong is pushing a controversial national anthem bill just as protests are kicking off again," 13 May 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.

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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 entry 1

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Time Traveler for anthem

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

1 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Anthem.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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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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