In the Septuagint, “anathema/cursed” is used to describe those cities/people/objects which are wholly devoted to the Lord. And frequently, they are devoted to complete destruction (e.g. Num. 21:3, Dt. 7:26, 13:16, 20:17, Josh. 6:17-18, 7:1-13).
Paul uses this word when he says that he wishes he could be “cursed” from Christ for the sake of the Jews (Rom. 9:3) and then later with regard to those who do not love the Lord Jesus (1 Cor. 16:22, cf. 1 Cor. 12:3). The only other use of the word seems to be in Galatians 1 where Paul is describing those who preach another gospel (Gal. 1:8-9).