chro·nol·o·gy | \-jē \
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

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 While both The Menendez Brothers and The Looming Tower take calculated liberties in regard to chronology and composite characters, Discovery Channel's Manhunt: Unabomber takes more dramatic creative license regarding one key event in particular. Carita Rizzo, The Hollywood Reporter, "Writers on 'Versace,' 'Tupac' and More Reveal Secrets to Bringing True Tales to the Screen," 1 June 2018 To a medical system that’s been dealing with worsening antibiotic resistance for decades, this chronology feels somewhat familiar: just another, potentially tougher battle to face. Maryn Mckenna, WIRED, "The Strange and Curious Case of the Deadly Superbug Yeast," 13 July 2018 Much of the chronology here is drawn from DeRogatis’s invaluable coverage of the R. Kelly accusations, including his own immensely thorough timeline. Constance Grady, Vox, "Here are all the sexual misconduct allegations against R. Kelly since 1994, in one chart.," 4 May 2018 Or at least that’s the only reasonable conclusion given BI’s complete lack of explanation for what happened here, and given the chronology of events laid out by Tani’s reporting. Jesse Singal, Daily Intelligencer, "Business Insider Retracted a Bad Piece — and Set a Terrible Precedent," 11 July 2018 Her film methodically charts the chronology, week by week, of what would become known as the Waldheim affair. Jessica Zack,, "Unflinching looks at Austria’s past, Kurt Waldheim at Jewish Film Festival," 10 July 2018 Lin initially figured the chronology would be left to right when facing the wall, starting in 1959 and ending in 1975. Joel Achenbach, Washington Post, "The men killed on a single, bloody day in Vietnam, and the haunting wall that memorializes them," 25 May 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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Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

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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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not any or not one

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