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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • True to her antebellum ideas, Mammy Maria dressed her two girls every afternoon before dinner.

    The Bishop of Cottontown John Trotwood Moore
  • The subjects upon which the antebellum Negro preached, however, were comparatively few.

    Negro Folk Rhymes Thomas W. Talley
  • Certainly Simms seems to have been the best imaginative writer the antebellum South produced.

    American Men of Mind Burton E. Stevenson
  • That was in the antebellum days, before men realized they couldn't oppress their fellows with impunity.

    The Open Question Elizabeth Robins
  • The antebellum state-bank regulations were intended to secure the safety of the bank note.

    Readings in Money and Banking Chester Arthur Phillips
  • As the antebellum period of the fifties came on these questions loomed larger in the public view.

  • In most of the antebellum state banking laws reserves were required only against note issue.

    Readings in Money and Banking Chester Arthur Phillips
  • Here the author shows that Astoria was included in the antebellum conditions of the Treaty of Ghent.

  • If Republicans stand for crude force, and Democrats for antebellum sentimentality, both are doomed together.

    Psycho-Phone Messages Francis Grierson
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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