: existing before a war; especially : existing before the Civil War
Did You Know?
"Antebellum" means "before the war," but it wasn’t widely associated with the U.S. Civil War (1861-1865) until after that conflict was over. The word comes from the Latin phrase "ante bellum" (literally, "before the war"), and its earliest known print appearance in English dates back to the 1840s. The term's earliest known association with the Civil War is found in an 1862 diary entry: "Her face was as placid and unmoved as in antebellum days." The author of that line, Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut, recorded her observations of life during the Civil War in A Diary from Dixie, often while accompanying her husband, an officer in the Confederate army, on his missions.
A guided tour through this old Mississippi mansion, built in the early 1800s, gives you an idea of what life was like in the antebellum South.
"From the windows of Laurel Hill, one of eight antebellum homes and businesses among the 11 sites on the 2014 Tour of Homes in Franklin, Tenn., women watched the brave advance of Confederate troops in November 1864…." - Kay Campbell, AL.com, May 12, 2014
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Word Family Quiz
What 9-letter relative of "antebellum" means "favoring or inclined to start quarrels or wars"? The answer is …
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