Anthem – Definition & Meaning

Anthem is a word that is often used in different contexts, but what does it really mean? This article will delve into the definition and meaning of anthem, its origin, associations, synonyms, antonyms, and example sentences.


Anthem is a noun that refers to a song or hymn that is typically associated with a particular group, nation, or cause. It is usually sung on special occasions or events such as national holidays, religious ceremonies, or sporting events. An anthem can also refer to a piece of music that is played at the beginning of a movie or television show.


The word anthem comes from the Greek word “antiphon,” which means “a sounding against.” The term was originally used in the Christian church to describe a type of liturgical music that was sung alternately by two choirs. Over time, the term evolved to include any type of song or hymn that was sung by a group of people.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, an anthem is “a solemn or patriotic song or hymn, especially one adopted by a nation or other organization as an expression of its identity.” Merriam-Webster defines anthem as “a song of praise, devotion, or patriotism.” The Cambridge English Dictionary defines anthem as “a song that has special importance for a particular group of people, an organization, or a nation, often sung on a special occasion.”


Anthem is often associated with national identity, patriotism, and unity. It is also associated with religion, particularly in the Christian church where anthems are still sung during liturgical services. In addition, anthem is associated with sports, where national anthems are played before games to honor the competing teams.


Some synonyms of anthem include hymn, song, ballad, chant, carol, and psalm.


Antonyms of anthem include cacophony, discord, noise, and silence.

The same root words

The same root words as anthem include antiphon, antiphonal, and antiphony.

Example Sentences

  1. The national anthem of the United States is “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
  2. The choir sang a beautiful anthem during the church service.
  3. The opening anthem of the movie set the tone for the rest of the film.
  4. The fans stood and sang the team’s anthem before the game.
  5. The school’s anthem was played at the graduation ceremony.
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