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Sunday, March 23, 2008

ANATHEMA: "a ban or curse pronounced with religious solemnity" ALSO "unpleasant person"

Word of the Day for Sunday, March 23, 2008

anathema \uh-NATH-uh-muh\, noun:

1. A ban or curse pronounced with religious solemnity by
ecclesiastical authority, and accompanied by excommunication. Hence:
Denunciation of anything as accursed.

2. An imprecation; a curse; a malediction.

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

4. Any person or thing that is intensely disliked.

The Communists were not prepared to accept any compromises; it was anathema to them that Tibet should have an international personality beyond being a region of China.
-- Tsering Shakya, The Dragon in the Land of Snows:A History of Modern Tibet Since 1947

Academies, the argument went, were anathema to creativity.
-- Deborah Solomon, "How to Succeed In Art", New York Times, June 27, 1999

Advertising was anathema to the Internet ethos, theysaid, and people would never pay for on-line material.
-- Steve Lohr, "The Freewheeling Net Meets the Free Market", New York Times, June 9, 1996

Anathema comes from the Greek word meaning "a thing devoted," especially a thing devoted to evil, hence "a curse," from anatithenai, "to dedicate, to set up," from ana, "up" + tithenai, "to place or put." Entry and Pronunciation for anathema

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