- Formerly, a hymn sung in alternate parts, in present usage, a selection from the Psalms, or other parts of the Scriptures or the liturgy, set to sacred music.
- A song or hymn of praise or devotion; as, a national anthem .
Etymology: OE. antym antefne, AS. antefen, fr. LL. antiphona, fr. Gr. 'anti`fwna, neut. pl. of 'anti`fwnon antiphon, or anthem, n. neut., from 'anti`fwnos sounding contrary, returning a sound; 'anti` over against + fwnh` sound, voice: the anthem being sung by the choristers alternately, one half-choir answering the other: cf. OF. anthaine anteine antieune, F. antienne. See Antiphon