An anathema is a couple of things:

  1. A denouncement – The manager’s office anathemas ranged from slightly annoying to downright inhumane.
  2. Someone or something that is cursed or hated – Following her tirade against all things cute and furry, Betty was anathema to her coworkers.

In recent news, political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos and investor Martin Shkreli had an event at UC Davis shut down by protestors. An article in Fast Forward noted:

University administrators said they regretted the turn of events, describing them as anathema to the school’s commitment to open dialogue. Following the cancellation, Yiannopoulos and Shkreli led a small protest the next day on campus.

Interestingly, this word comes “from Ecclesiastical Greek anathema “a thing accursed,” a slight variation of classical Greek anathāma, which meant merely “a thing devoted,” literally “a thing set up (to the gods),” according to the Online Etymology Dictionary.

Electropop duo Twenty One Pilots released a song called “Anathema” on their second album, Regional at Best:

Finally, here are some quotes from people you may have heard of, featuring the word anathema:

I think it’s still hard for me to turn down work if it’s really good because for so many years I was so desperate to get a job and couldn’t and so it’s kind of an anathema for me to turn down work. – Matt Damon

The idea that you earn things – that you earn respect, that you earn income, responsibility, the vote, punishment… these ideas are anathema to the liberal mind. – Dennis Prager

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