Borrowing from Latin ante (“before”) + litteram, accusative singular of littera (“letter, writing”).
- Before the term existed; before the term was coined; used after a term applied anachronistically.
- In the fifteenth century, he espoused ecology ante litteram. He endorsed ecology before the term "ecology" existed.
2007, Patricia Vilches, Gerald E. Seaman, Seeking Real Truths: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Machiavelli, page 191:
- What could have been a moral victory or arguably a feminist struggle ante litteram remains a farcical squabble
2011, Davide Rodogno, Against Massacre: Humanitarian Interventions in the Ottoman Empire, 1815-1914, page 16:
- the new mass media played an increasingly crucial role throughout the nineteenth century as an ante litteram CNN.