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[an-tee-bel-uh m] /ˈæn tiˈbɛl əm/
before or existing before a war, especially the American Civil War; prewar:
the antebellum plantations of Georgia.
Origin of antebellum
1860-65; < Latin ante bellum before the war Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for antebellum
  • Ten years ago, this quaint antebellum log home with a stone hearth was moved from another location and thoroughly renovated.
  • It felt like I had stepped into an antebellum time warp.
  • You posed on the veranda of an antebellum mansion, or in the open doorway of a tropical villa.
  • In Culpeper, the historic town center is crowded with antebellum cottages.
  • Almost 400 letters between mother and daughter draw the reader into the antebellum Southern aristocracy.
  • Gingerbread fretwork amid magnolia trees sets the tone for this antebellum home in a quaint seaport village.
  • Brides with rhinestone clips in their hair, brides clutching roses and brides in antebellum white gowns with ballooning skirts.
  • She's plagued by events from her past and has traces of insanity in her antebellum lineage.
British Dictionary definitions for antebellum


of or during the period before a war, esp the American Civil War: the antebellum South
Word Origin
Latin ante bellum, literally: before the war
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for antebellum

also ante-bellum, from Latin phrase ante bellum, literally "before the war;" see ante- + bellicose. In U.S., usually in reference to the American Civil War (1861-65); first attested in a June 14, 1862, entry in Mary Chesnut's diary.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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antebellum in Culture
antebellum [(an-tee-bel-uhm)]

A descriptive term for objects and institutions, especially houses, that originated three or four decades before the Civil War. Antebellum is Latin for “before the war.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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