1580s, "to date before the true time," earlier as noun meaning "a backdating, false early date attached to a document or event" (1570s); from Latin ante "before" (from PIE root *ant- "front, forehead," with derivatives meaning "in front of, before") + date (v.1). The meaning "be of older date than" is from 1660s. Related: Antedated; antedating.
*dō-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to give."
It forms all or part of: add; anecdote; antidote; betray; condone; dacha; dado; data; date (n.1) "time;" dative; deodand; die (n.); donation; donative; donor; Dorian; Dorothy; dose; dowager; dower; dowry; edition; endow; Eudora; fedora; Isidore; mandate; Pandora; pardon; perdition; Polydorus; render; rent (n.1) "payment for use of property;" sacerdotal; samizdat; surrender; Theodore; Theodosia; tradition; traitor; treason; vend.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit dadati "gives," danam "offering, present;" Old Persian dadatuv "let him give;" Greek didomi, didonai, "to give, offer," dōron "gift;" Latin dare "to give, grant, offer," donum "gift;" Armenian tam "to give;" Old Church Slavonic dati "give," dani "tribute;" Lithuanian duoti "to give," duonis "gift;" Old Irish dan "gift, endowment, talent," Welsh dawn "gift."
"snail shell" (said to date from 1847), also "horse chestnut" (said to date from 1886), both said to be from children's game of conkers (q.v.).
c. 1400, "fruit of the tamarind tree, used medicinally," ultimately from Arabic tamr hindi, literally "date of India," from hind "India." First element cognate with Hebrew tamar "palm tree, date palm." Of the tree itself, from 1610s.
metrical foot, late 14c., from Latin dactylus, from Greek daktylos, a unit of measure (a finger-breadth), also "a fruit of the date tree, a date," literally "finger" (also "toe"), a word of unknown origin. The metrical use (a long syllable followed by two short ones) is by analogy with the three joints of a finger. In English versification it refers to an accented syllable followed by two unaccented. The "date" sense also sometimes was used in early Modern English.
"up-to-date information," 1941, in poop sheet, U.S. Army slang, of unknown origin, perhaps from poop (n.2).
as an annual ecological awareness event on April 22, from 1970; the idea for it and the name date from 1969.
"of the period before the date fixed for release," 1916, in reference to motion pictures, from pre- + release (n.). As a noun, "a film or record available on a limited basis before general release," by 1919. As a verb, "to release on a limited basis before the date fixed for release," by 1917 (implied in pre-released).