Ante- vs anti-

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Ante- and anti- are prefixes. Though spelled and pronounced similarly, they have very different meanings. Learning the definitions of ante- and anti- is a good way to understand how to spell various words. We will look at the meaning of ante- and anti-, where these prefixes come from and some examples of their use in sentences.

The prefix ante- means preceding or before, in relation to physical position or point in time. The prefix ante- is derived from the Latin word ante, which means in front of, before. Some examples of words using the prefix ante- are antebellum, which refers to a time before a war most particularly the American Civil War, antediluvian which refers to the time before Noah’s flood, and antechamber which refers to a smaller room that leads to a larger room.

The prefix anti- means against, opposed to, opposite of, counteracting. The prefix anti- is derived from the Greek word anti which means against, instead of, opposite of. Some examples of words using the prefix anti- are antibiotic which is a medicine that acts against microbes, antidote which is a medicine that acts against poison and antimatter which is a substance that is the opposite of matter. Anti- is a prefix that is often used to coin new, hyphenated words such as anti-elitist or anti-globalist.


Tucked away in an antechamber of the National Museum of Scotland’s Scottish galleries, this collection of photographs of the natural world – first seen at the Natural History Museum in London – is absolutely worth seeking out. (The Times)

These two groups of antibiotics are considered last-line antibiotics because they usually are the last treatment options for patients infected with bacteria resistant to other available antibiotics. (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News)