One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The state of affairs that existed before a war.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in Edmund Burke (?1730–1797), politician and author. Probably extrapolated from post-classical Latin phrases such as in statu, quo ante bellum fuerant or in eum statum quo ante bellum fuerant, after status quo.
status quo ante bellum/ˌsteɪtəs ˌkwəʊ antɪ ˈbɛləm/
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