One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Prior to the existence of, or logically preceding, something else; specifically (of a universal) prior to the particular. Later also: of, relating to, or designating a philosophical theory which holds that the universal is logically prior to, and capable of existing independently of, the particular. Also as adverb Compare post rem, "in re".Related post rem
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in John William Donaldson (1811–1861), philologist. From post-classical Latin ante rem before the thing from classical Latin ante before + rem, accusative of rēs.
ante rem/ˌanti ˈrɛm//ˌanteɪ ˈrɛm/
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