an·​te·​bel·​lum | \ ˌan-ti-ˈbe-ləm How to pronounce antebellum (audio) \

Definition of antebellum

: existing before a war especially : existing before the American Civil War antebellum houses the antebellum South

Examples of antebellum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Like the antebellum South, society in the West was hierarchical according to race, class, and gender. Bruce Bartlett, The New Republic, "The Western Origins of the “Southern Strategy”," 29 June 2020 One of Spring Hill College’s most iconic images is the nearly half-mile-long Avenue of the Oaks, which runs from its origin near Old Shell Road to the circular drive at Stewartfield, an antebellum home used as an event space. Michelle Matthews |, al, "Why this is one of the most beautiful streets in Alabama," 23 June 2020 The author's previous book, The Good Lord Bird, came out in 2013 and won the National Book Award for its fictionalized depiction of abolitionist John Brown's efforts to free slaves in the antebellum South. Christian Holub,, "Oprah's new book club pick is Deacon King Kong, by James McBride," 16 June 2020 Most couldn’t tell you antebellum from Auntie Mame. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, "College athletes are speaking out on troublesome campus traditions. It’s time to listen.," 14 June 2020 The movie’s nostalgia for the antebellum South and its portrayals of black characters as derogatory slave stereotypes were controversial even upon its release. Kate Knibbs, Wired, "Gone With the Wind's Removal From HBO Max Isn't Censorship," 11 June 2020 The country music group Lady Antebellum change its name to Lady A to cut ties with any connection to the antebellum period when slavery was legal. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "Country music group changes name to avoid referencing Confederacy and slavery," 11 June 2020 Its most profound impact, though, was to shatter the lingering mythology of antebellum honor and gentility. Ron Charles, Washington Post, "12 novels that changed the way we live," 7 May 2020 Their goal is to reawaken passion through role-playing, including a section of therapy that finds three couples exploring antebellum master-and-slave stereotypes. Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times, "‘Slave Play’ in L.A.: Mark Taper Forum will have the first production outside N.Y.," 30 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'antebellum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of antebellum

1826, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for antebellum

Latin ante bellum before the war

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The first known use of antebellum was in 1826

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Last Updated

8 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Antebellum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce antebellum (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of antebellum

formal : occurring in the southern U.S. during the time before the American Civil War

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