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Meaning of ANATHEMA

Pronunciation:  u'nathumu

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [n]  a formal ecclesiastical curse accompanied by excommunication
  2. [n]  a detested person; "he is an anathema to me"

ANATHEMA is a 8 letter word that starts with A.


 Synonyms: bete noire
 See Also: condemnation, curse, disagreeable person, execration, unpleasant person



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
\A*nath"e*ma\, n.; pl. {Anathemas}. [L. anath?ma, fr.
Gr. ? anything devoted, esp. to evil, a curse; also L.
anath?ma, fr. Gr. ? a votive offering; all fr. ? to set up as
a votive gift, dedicate; ? up + ? to set. See {Thesis}.]
1. A ban or curse pronounced with religious solemnity by
   ecclesiastical authority, and accompanied by
   excommunication. Hence: Denunciation of anything as

         [They] denounce anathemas against unbelievers.

2. An imprecation; a curse; a malediction.

         Finally she fled to London followed by the anathemas
         of both [families].                   --Thackeray.

3. Any person or thing anathematized, or cursed by
   ecclesiastical authority.

         The Jewish nation were an anathema destined to
         destruction. St. Paul . . . says he could wish, to
         save them from it, to become an anathema, and be
         destroyed himself.                    --Locke.

{Anathema Maranatha}(see --1 Cor. xvi. 22), an expression
   commonly considered as a highly intensified form of
   anathema. Maran atha is now considered as a separate
   sentence, meaning, ``Our Lord cometh.''

Easton Bible Dictionary

anything laid up or suspended; hence anything laid up in a temple or set apart as sacred. In this sense the form of the word is _anath(ee)ma_, once in plural used in the Greek New Testament, in Luke 21:5, where it is rendered "gifts." In the LXX. the form _anathema_ is generally used as the rendering of the Hebrew word _herem_, derived from a verb which means (1) to consecrate or devote; and (2) to exterminate. Any object so devoted to the Lord could not be redeemed (Num. 18:14; Lev. 27:28, 29); and hence the idea of exterminating connected with the word. The Hebrew verb (haram) is frequently used of the extermination of idolatrous nations. It had a wide range of application. The _anathema_ or _herem_ was a person or thing irrevocably devoted to God (Lev. 27:21, 28); and "none devoted shall be ransomed. He shall surely be put to death" (27:29). The word therefore carried the idea of devoted to destruction (Num. 21:2, 3; Josh. 6:17); and hence generally it meant a thing accursed. In Deut. 7:26 an idol is called a _herem_ = _anathema_, a thing accursed.

In the New Testament this word always implies execration. In some cases an individual denounces an anathema on himself unless certain conditions are fulfilled (Acts 23:12, 14, 21). "To call Jesus accursed" [anathema] (1 Cor. 12:3) is to pronounce him execrated or accursed. If any one preached another gospel, the apostle says, "let him be accursed" (Gal. 1:8, 9); i.e., let his conduct in so doing be accounted accursed.

In Rom. 9:3, the expression "accursed" (anathema) from Christ, i.e., excluded from fellowship or alliance with Christ, has occasioned much difficulty. The apostle here does not speak of his wish as a possible thing. It is simply a vehement expression of feeling, showing how strong was his desire for the salvation of his people.

The anathema in 1 Cor. 16:22 denotes simply that they who love not the Lord are rightly objects of loathing and execration to all holy beings; they are guilty of a crime that merits the severest condemnation; they are exposed to the just sentence of "everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord."

 Definition:  separated; set apart
Thesaurus Terms
 Related Terms: abhorrence, abomination, antipathy, arraignment, aversion, ban, bete noire, blame, blasphemy, bugbear, castigation, censure, commination, condemnation, curse, damnation, decrial, denouncement, denunciation, detestation, evil eye, excommunication, excoriation, execration, flaying, fulmination, fustigation, hate, hex, impeachment, imprecation, indictment, leper, malediction, malison, malocchio, outcast, pariah, peeve, pet peeve, phobia, pillorying, proscription, reprehension, reprobation, reproof, skinning alive, stricture, thundering, untouchable, whammy