an·​te·​date | \ ˈan-ti-ˌdāt How to pronounce antedate (audio) \

Definition of antedate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a date assigned to an event or document earlier than the actual date of the event or document


an·​te·​date | \ ˈan-ti-ˌdāt How to pronounce antedate (audio) , ˌan-ti-ˈdāt \
antedated; antedating; antedates

Definition of antedate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to date as of a time prior to that of execution
b : to assign to a date prior to that of actual occurrence
2 archaic : anticipate
3 : to precede in time

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Synonyms & Antonyms for antedate

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Did You Know?

Dinosaurs antedated the first human beings by almost 65 million years, though this stubborn fact never used to stop cartoonists and screenwriters from having the two species inhabit the same story line. Dictionary editors are constantly noticing how the oral use of a word may antedate its first appearance in print by a number of years. Antedating a check or a contract isn't illegal unless it's done for the purpose of fraud (the same is true of its opposite, postdating).

Examples of antedate in a Sentence

Verb The church antedates the village itself. dinosaurs antedate cavemen by millions of years
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In truth, however, Italy’s migration policies antedate Salvini by at least two years, and represent an ugly consensus generally if more quietly shared by many powers in the EU. Ben Ehrenreich, The New Republic, "Inside the effort to rescue Europe’s unwelcome immigrants," 17 Oct. 2019 His theatrically posed male nudes were antedated by George Platt Lynes’s. Arthur Lubow, New York Times, "Has Robert Mapplethorpe’s Moment Passed?," 25 July 2019

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

First Known Use of antedate


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1568, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

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Time Traveler for antedate

Time Traveler

The first known use of antedate was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Antedate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for antedate



English Language Learners Definition of antedate

: to give an earlier date rather than the actual date to (something)
: to be earlier or older than (something)

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