I. noun 1. [ mass noun] — something or someone that one vehemently dislikes • racial hatred was anathema to her.
2. a formal curse by a pope or a council of the Church, excommunicating a person or denouncing a doctrine. • the pope laid special emphasis on the second of these anathemas.
‹literary› a strong curse.
• the sergeant clutched the ruined communicator, muttering anathemas.
– origin early 16th cent.: from ecclesiastical Latin, ‘excommunicated person, excommunication’, from Greek anathema ‘thing dedicated’, (later) ‘thing devoted to evil, accursed thing’, from anatithenai ‘to set up’.