[ 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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for antebellum

British Dictionary definitions for antebellum


/ (ˌæntɪˈbɛləm) /


of or during the period before a war, esp the American Civil Warthe antebellum South

Word Origin for antebellum

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

Culture definitions for 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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.