chro·​nol·​o·​gy krə-ˈnä-lə-jē How to pronounce chronology (audio)
plural chronologies
: the science that deals with measuring time by regular divisions and that assigns to events their proper dates
: a chronological table, list, or account
a chronology of the author's works
: 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.

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 The one clear marker of a forward chronology are the title cards that announce the changing seasons. Carlos Aguilar, Variety, 30 Jan. 2024 This is because tusks grow as the species ages; when a tusk is split lengthwise, researchers see visible layers that distinguish different slices in the chronology of a mammoth’s life. Jack Knudson, Discover Magazine, 17 Jan. 2024 Everything else, from the chronology to what was or was not included within a two-hour timeframe, could be left to chance. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 18 Jan. 2024 The other challenge was how to bring order to it with no main characters, no conflict, and no chronology. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 12 Jan. 2024 The chronology notes that the unnamed accuser submitted the first batch of allegations to Harvard on Dec. 19. Anemona Hartocollis Annie Karni Anemona Hartocollis Dana Goldstein Dana Goldstein Anemona Hartocollis Rob Copeland Rob Copeland Jennifer Schuessler Anemona Hartocollis Sarah Mervosh Dana Goldstein Annie Karni Anna Betts Anna Betts Sean Plambeck The New York Times Anemona Hartocollis Anemona Hartocollis Anemona Hartocollis The New York Times Anemona Hartocollis Anna Betts, New York Times, 2 Jan. 2024 The Israeli-Palestinian conflict: A chronology A racial justice lens Joey Ayoub, a Palestinian-Lebanese writer, podcaster and academic, says young Americans are more likely to conceptualize the Palestinian cause as a sister issue to U.S. efforts for racial justice. Frances Vinall, Washington Post, 22 Dec. 2023 For Friedman, the specifics of the entertainment industry and the minutiae of the chronology carry far less weight than the emotion at the show’s core. Gordon Cox, Variety, 28 Sep. 2023 Since Hecht is among the most erudite of modern poets, steeped in the Bible as well as Shakespeare, readers may be pleased to find nearly 50 pages of textual notes, plus a brief chronology. David Mason, WSJ, 3 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chronology.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of chronology was in 1585

Dictionary Entries Near chronology

Cite this Entry

“Chronology.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


chro·​nol·​o·​gy krə-ˈnäl-ə-jē How to pronounce chronology (audio)
plural chronologies
: the science that deals with measuring time and dating events
: a chronological table or list

More from Merriam-Webster on chronology

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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