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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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 With all the new content launched this year, the MCU chronology has changed. Chris Smith, BGR, 19 July 2021 The franchise previously rejiggered the chronology of the films, partly to make Han’s story line somewhat plausible. Bourree Lam, WSJ, 23 June 2021 That’s the most obvious question in terms of a wine’s chronology, but there are complementary questions too such as when the wine was made and when it was bottled. Cathy Huyghe, Forbes, 29 June 2021 Ailey is the more formally ambitious film — less practically useful (a harum-scarum approach to chronology can be bewildering) but more successful at creating sudden dazzlements. Helen Shaw, Vulture, 17 June 2021 Each gallery is organized in a loose chronology, with cars clustered to make visitors think about the evolution of automotive design and engineering. Mark Yost, WSJ, 20 Mar. 2021 Adapted from a larger 2016 Louvre exhibition tracking through multiple dynasties, the exhibition that fills three modest galleries at the Villa forgoes chronology. Los Angeles Times, 21 Apr. 2021 The Redditor’s massive Marvel chronology project is available at this link. Chris Smith, BGR, 3 June 2021 In Tuesday’s motion, McCrum presented a lengthy chronology that attempted to show Mayes worked with a San Antonio Police Department detective and Vega herself in creating the criminal case against Phipps. Elizabeth Zavala, San Antonio Express-News, 2 June 2021

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

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

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Time Traveler for chronology

Time Traveler

The first known use of chronology was in 1585

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Last Updated

25 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chronology.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for chronology



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

More from Merriam-Webster on chronology

Nglish: Translation of chronology for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chronology for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about chronology


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