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Anathema, is from the Greek word άνάθεμα anathema, from Greek άνάτιθεναι anatithenai, from the Greek άνά ana up + τιθεναι tithenai to set, to place, dedicate; originally "a thing devoted," literally "a thing set up (to the gods)". Originally an anathema was simply a votive offering to the gods or to God. With the spread of Christianity, it came to mean "anything dedicated (to evil)"; thus, a thing or person greatly abhorred, detested, cursed ("accursed") as utterly unacceptable, rejected, condemned, damned. It has both religious and secular meanings.

In religion an anathema is a curse pronounced by an authorized religious or ecclesiastical authority on anything or anyone that is found to be unacceptable, disapproved, rejected, or is officially excommunicated.

The term άνάθεμα is found in the Greek text of the Christian New Testament, usually translated as "cursed":
Romans 9:3; 1 Corinthians 12:3; 16:22; and Galatians 1:8 and 1:9.

See Anathema (