Definition of anthem noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈænθəm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈænθəm//
    Pieces of music
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  1. 1a song that has a special importance for a country, an organization or a particular group of people, and is sung on special occasions The European anthem was played at the opening and closing ceremonies. The song could become an anthem for the classless society. see also national anthem See related entries: Pieces of music
  2. 2a short religious song for a choir (= a group of singers), often with an organ
  3. Word OriginOld English antefn, antifne (denoting a composition sung antiphonally, by two groups of people in turn), from late Latin antiphona ‘harmonies’, neuter plural of antiphōnos ‘responsive’, from anti ‘in return’ + phōnē ‘sound’. The spelling with th, which began in the 16th cent., was on the pattern of similar words such as Antony, Anthony.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: anthem

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