curse

curse
curse n Curse, imprecation, malediction, anathema are comparable when they denote a denunciation that conveys a wish or threat of evil.
Curse (opposed to blessing)usually implies a call upon God or a supernatural power to visit punishment or disaster upon a person; in dignified use it commonly presupposes a profound sense of injury and a plea to a divine avenger for justice. No other word in this group suggests so strongly the certainty of the threatened evil
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the untented woundings of a father's curse pierce every sense about thee!— Shak.

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an orphan's curse would drag to hell a spirit from on high— Coleridge

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Imprecation also implies an invocation of evil or calamity, but it often suggests as its provocation wrath rather than a sense of injury and a desire for revenge rather than for justice as its aim
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with imprecations thus he filled the air, and angry Neptune heard the unrighteous prayer— Pope

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Both curse and imprecation are applied to profane swearing involving blasphemy, but, again, the latter is the weaker in its implications.
Malediction (opposed to benediction) is applied chiefly to bitter reproaches or denunciations publicly proclaimed and bringing disgrace or ignominy to their object
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my name ... to all posterity may stand defamed, with malediction mentioned— Milton

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Cleopatra has long ago passed beyond the libels with which her reputation was blackened by a terrified Romeeven the maledictions of great poets— Buchan

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a passage in one of the recently discovered Ras Shamra poems . . . pronounces a malediction . . . "may Horon break thy head"— Mercer

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Anathema basically denotes a solemn authoritative ecclesiastical ban or curse accompanied by excommunication
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the third letter to Nestorias . . . contained the anathemasR. M. French

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In more general use the term applies to a strong or violent denunciation by one in authority or in a position to judge of something as grossly wrong, as productive of evil, or as accursed
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the Pope . . . has condemned the slave trade —but no more heed is paid to his anathema than to the passing wind— Gladstone

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continued openly ... to flaunt their beauties, in spite of the anathemas from the pulpits— Wellman

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or it may be used in a much weakened sense to mean no more than a vigorous denunciation
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no anathema pronounced by any psychologist against such words as "purpose" will exorcise this initiative as a distinctive and observable character of certain modes of conscious doing— C. I. Lewis

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[people] of self-respect who would like to teach our children ... are afraid to hire themselves out to communities and states . . . where they may be under the continuous censorship of politicians, petty moralists, and those businessmen for whom the mere subscription to a liberal journal is a reason for anathemaUlich

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Analogous words: execration, objurgation (see corresponding verbs at EXECRATE): profanity, *blasphemy, swearing
Antonyms: blessing
curse vb damn, anathematize, *execrate, objurgate
Analogous words: condemn, denounce, reprobate (see CRITICIZE): blaspheme, swear (see corresponding nouns at BLASPHEMY)
Antonyms: bless

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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  • Curse — bei einem Open Air Festival 2009 Logo des Rappers Curse (* 6. September 1978; bürgerlich Michael Sebastian Kurth …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Curse — Curse, n. [AS. curs. See {Curse}, v. t.] 1. An invocation of, or prayer for, harm or injury; malediction. [1913 Webster] Lady, you know no rules of charity, Which renders good for bad, blessings for curses. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Evil pronounced …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Curse — (k?rs), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Cursed} (k?rst) or {Curst}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Cursing}.] [AS. cursian, corsian, perh. of Scand. origin; cf. Dan. korse to make the sign of the cross, Sw. korsa, fr. Dan. & Sw. kors cross, Icel kross, all these Scand.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • curse — [kʉrs] n. [ME & Late OE n. curs, v. cursian: prob. < L cursus (see COURSE), used of the course of daily liturgical prayers and of the set of imprecations in the formal recital of offenses entailing excommunication; hence, consignment to an… …   English World dictionary

  • Curse — Curse, v. i. To utter imprecations or curses; to affirm or deny with imprecations; to swear. [1913 Webster] Then began he to curse and to swear. Matt. xxi. 74. [1913 Webster] His spirits hear me, And yet I need must curse. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • curse — (n.) late O.E. curs a prayer that evil or harm befall one, of uncertain origin, perhaps from O.Fr. curuz anger, or L. cursus course. Connection with cross is unlikely. No similar word exists in Germanic, Romance, or Celtic. The verb is O.E.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • curse — [n1] hateful, swearing remark anathema, ban, bane, blaspheming, blasphemy, commination, cursing, cussing*, cuss word*, damning, denunciation, dirty name*, dirty word*, double whammy*, execration, expletive, four letter word*, fulmination,… …   New thesaurus

  • curse — ► NOUN 1) an appeal to a supernatural power to inflict harm on someone or something. 2) a cause of harm or misery. 3) an offensive word or phrase used to express anger or annoyance. ► VERB 1) use a curse against. 2) (be cursed with) be afflicted… …   English terms dictionary

  • curse — index expletive, imprecation, malediction, malign, proscribe (denounce) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • Curse — For other uses, see Curse (disambiguation). A woman makes a cursing ritual ceremony, by Hokusai A curse (also called execration) is any expressed wish that some form of adversity or misfortune will befall or attach to some other entity one or… …   Wikipedia

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