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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
First recorded in 1860-65, antebellum is from the Latin word ante bellum before the war Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for antebellum
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Banjos and fiddles (violins) were owned only limitedly by antebellum Negroes.

    Negro Folk Rhymes Thomas W. Talley
  • The subjects upon which the antebellum Negro preached, however, were comparatively few.

    Negro Folk Rhymes Thomas W. Talley
  • That was in the antebellum days, before men realized they couldn't oppress their fellows with impunity.

    The Open Question Elizabeth Robins
  • If Republicans stand for crude force, and Democrats for antebellum sentimentality, both are doomed together.

    Psycho-Phone Messages Francis Grierson
  • It is as handsome as their splendid plate of antebellum days, which was destroyed by fire.

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

    The Bishop of Cottontown John Trotwood Moore
  • Certainly Simms seems to have been the best imaginative writer the antebellum South produced.

    American Men of Mind Burton E. Stevenson
  • The antebellum state-bank regulations were intended to secure the safety of the bank note.

    Readings in Money and Banking

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

    Readings in Money and Banking

    Chester Arthur Phillips
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 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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