ab urbe condita

What is the origin of ab urbe condita?

Ab urbe condita “from the founding of the city” is a phrase borrowed from Latin; spelled with the traditional macrons to indicate vowel length, the phrase is properly ab urbe conditā, literally “(in the year) from the founded city.” The preposition ab “away from, out of, since” is a common element in Latin-origin terms such as abduct (originally “to lead away”), abrupt (“to break away”), and absent (“to be away”), and its variant form abs- appears in abstain (“to hold away”) and abstract (“to draw away”). Urbe is the ablative (prepositional object) form of urbs “city,” which is also the root of urban and suburb (“under the city”), while conditā is the perfect participle of the verb condere “to build, conceal, compose,” the source of abscond, condiment, and condition. Ab urbe condita was first recorded in English in the early 17th century.