antiphon (n.)

c. 1500, "a versicle sung responsively," from French antiphone "hymn" or directly from Medieval Latin antiphona, from Greek antiphōna (neuter plural), from antiphōnos "responsive, sounding in answer," from anti "in return" (see anti-) + phōnē "voice" (from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say").

A reborrowing of the word which had become anthem in English (in Old English antefn, antifon) and lost its original meaning.

updated on September 23, 2022