- A formal ecclesiastical curse involving excommunication; a ban or curse pronounced by ecclesiastical authority, and accompanied by excommunication.
- A person or thing that is detested or shunned; a curse or something accursed.
- A thing or person that one vehemently dislikes.
From the greek ἀνάθεμα (anáthema) meaning "something dedicated" or "something set up", from ἀνατίθημι (anatíthēmi), meaning "to set up" or "to dedicate".
- The Pope declared the heretic anathema.
- He had become an anathema to his former friends.
- She considered the idea of moving to the suburbs an anathema.
- He looked upon the prospect of going to war as anathema.
- The very idea of failure was anathema to him.