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.

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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

One hypothesis for the cause of this bug is a conflict with the automatic date and time settings, which screwed up the chronology of texts. Alexander George, Popular Mechanics, "Why Your iMessage Is Misbehaving and How to Fix It," 8 Nov. 2018 There’s a chronology on the website that says that each and every time an allegation was made, the staff followed up on it. Alvin Chang, Vox, "Every time Ford and Kavanaugh answered the question — and didn't answer the question," 28 Sep. 2018 Armed with the materials, the curators decided to organize the show not based on chronology but rather people. Julissa Treviño, Smithsonian, "New Exhibition Serves up 150 Years of Canadian Culinary History," 26 May 2018 The cumulative effect of this meticulous chronology is a sobering reminder of just how long Ocean kept listeners waiting (and how potent fans’ entitlement grew in the interim). Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Is It Futile to 'Dissect' Frank Ocean's Work?," 17 May 2018 The value of a Steerage image comes not from its size (the Christie’s and Sotheby’s versions, which are comparatively cheap, are slightly larger than the one at Phillips) but from chronology and, most important, whether Stieglitz actually signed it., "How Can One Artwork Have Four Very Different Price Tags?," 4 Apr. 2018 As with most studio horror franchises of late, the chronology is nearly as tortured as the characters. Justin Chang,, "Lin Shaye is a scream, but 'Insidious: The Last Key' doesn't click," 4 Jan. 2018 Instead, to replicate the lurches and free falls of memory, Mr. Letts has scrambled the chronology. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: ‘Mary Page Marlowe’ Lives an Ordinary, Extraordinary Life," 12 July 2018 His investigators wanted to know how the bureau came to surveil a former Trump campaign adviser, and in particular, the chronology of events that led them to seek a secret court order to do so. Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post, "As Justice Dept. inspector general moves from Clinton email to Russia and Trump, he risks becoming a political weapon," 1 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of chronology

1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for chronology

New Latin chronologia, from chron- + -logia -logy

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The first known use of chronology was in 1585

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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

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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).


to corrupt or become corrupted

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