chro·​nol·​o·​gy | \ krə-ˈnä-lə-jē How to pronounce chronology (audio) \
plural chronologies

Definition of chronology

1 : the science that deals with measuring time by regular divisions and that assigns to events their proper dates
2 : a chronological table, list, or account a chronology of the author's works
3 : an arrangement (as of events) in order of occurrence reconstruct the chronology of the trip The book provides a chronology of events leading up to the American Civil War.

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

History is much more than a simple chronology of events, but keeping events in chronological order is the first essential step in thinking about it. When, for example, historians try to show how World War I prepared the way for World War II, tracking the chronology of the events in the years between the two wars can help in explaining a complicated historical era.

Examples of chronology in a Sentence

We tried to reconstruct the chronology of the accident. The book provides a chronology of the events leading up to the American Civil War.
Recent Examples on the Web Citing regulatory filings and the internal documents, including emails and minutes of CBS board-level meetings, the shareholders’ lawyers pieced together the deal’s chronology. Meg James, Los Angeles Times, "Shareholder lawsuit blasts Shari Redstone’s ‘persistent influence’ in Viacom-CBS merger," 24 Apr. 2020 One of the first wonderful things about the film, however, is its interest in putting entertainment and insanity ahead of chronology. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Birds of Prey review: Margot Robbie and the fantabulous redemption of DC," 7 Feb. 2020 For her, breaking chronology wasn’t just an artistic ingenuity but a political necessity. Jason Kehe, Wired, "The Witcher and Little Women Share a Time-Tested Secret," 7 Feb. 2020 In addition to Trump’s account, more than a half-dozen Pentagon, military, intelligence and counterterrorism officials provided this chronology of the raid after the president approved the operation., "How did CIA track down al-Baghdadi? Thanks to one of his wives and a courier - The Boston Globe," 28 Oct. 2019 If anything, the author overdoes it, parsing too many chronologies and splitting too many hairs with previous Wright biographers. John Glassie, Washington Post, "A look at the forces — and tragedies — that shaped Frank Lloyd Wright," 4 Oct. 2019 China has serially lied about the origins, the transmissibility, the chronology, and epidemiology of the virus. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Yes, California Remains Mysterious — Despite the Weaponization of the Debate," 13 Apr. 2020 The chronology goes like this: 1G—the first generation of wireless introduced in the 1980s—gave us voice over wireless. Jennifer Alsever, Fortune, "Movies and video games are poised for a 5G upgrade," 20 Mar. 2020 Hulton DeutschGetty Images The show handles the chronology quite differently. Katherine J Igoe, Marie Claire, "Did Princess Margaret Make a Non-Fatal Suicide Attempt, as Depicted on 'The Crown'?," 17 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chronology.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of chronology

1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for chronology

borrowed from New Latin chronologia, from chrono- chrono- + -logia -logy

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about chronology

Time Traveler for chronology

Time Traveler

The first known use of chronology was in 1585

See more words from the same year

Statistics for chronology

Last Updated

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Chronology.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for chronology


How to pronounce chronology (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of chronology

: the order in which a series of events happened
: a record of the order in which a series of events happened
: a science that deals with measuring time and finding out when events happened

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on chronology

What made you want to look up chronology? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!