before or existing before a war, especially the American Civil War; prewar: the antebellum plantations of Georgia.

1860–65; < Latin ante bellum before the war Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
antebellum (ˌæntɪˈbɛləm)
of or during the period before a war, esp the American Civil War: the antebellum South
[Latin ante bellum, literally: before the war]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

from L. phrase ante bellum, lit. "before the war;" in U.S., usually in ref. to Amer. 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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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
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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Example sentences
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.
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