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a song, as of praise, devotion, or patriotism:
the national anthem of Spain; our college anthem.
a piece of sacred vocal music, usually with words taken from the Scriptures.
a hymn sung alternately by different sections of a choir or congregation.
to celebrate with or in an anthem.
Contemporary Examples

Georgia has written for publications like anthem magazine and contributes the This Recording.
Valentine’s Day Cocktail Recipes to Fall in Love With Alie Ward, Georgia Hardstark February 8, 2011

He wrote the anthem and is a composer, guitarist, poet, and front man for Electric Black.
Soundtrack to the Uprising The Daily Beast July 1, 2009

“If BMW is ‘the ultimate driving machine,’ your anthem is the ultimate differentiator,” writes Hogshead.
Can Self-Help Books Really Make a New You? Lizzie Crocker December 28, 2014

A melodic song, “We Shall Remain Here,” has been the anthem most specific to this revolution.
Libya’s Explosive Music Revolution Khaled Mattawa May 27, 2011

Vladimir Putin made it his anthem and even played it at rallies.
The Making of Brand Putin Kristen Soltis Anderson February 12, 2014

Historical Examples

The singing of the anthem after the third collect in both morning and evening prayer.
Music in the History of the Western Church Edward Dickinson

Handel’s anthem was performed by 80 singers and 100 instrumentalists.
Handel Edward J. Dent

The choir learns to chant and to sing an anthem on a high festival.
A History of the English Church in New Zealand Henry Thomas Purchas

He could hear the music of the organ, and presently the choir began to sing an anthem.
The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine

Big gun and rifle fire mingled like strophe and antistrophe of an anthem of death.
How I Filmed the War Lieut. Geoffrey H. Malins

a song of loyalty or devotion, as to a nation or college: a national anthem
a musical composition for a choir, usually set to words from the Bible, sung as part of a church service
a religious chant sung antiphonally
a popular rock or pop song

Old English ontemn, antefn, “a composition (in prose or verse) sung antiphonally,” from Late Latin antefana, from Greek antiphona “verse response” (see antiphon). Sense evolved to “a composition set to sacred music” (late 14c.), then “song of praise or gladness” (1590s). Used in reference to the English national song (technically, as OED points out, a hymn) and extended to those of other nations. Modern spelling is from late 16c., perhaps an attempt to make the word look more Greek.


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