clio·​met·​rics ˌklī-ə-ˈme-triks How to pronounce cliometrics (audio)
plural in form but singular in construction
: the application of methods developed in other fields (such as economics, statistics, and data processing) to the study of history
cliometric adjective
cliometrician noun

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Cliometrics comes from a combination of "Clio," the name of the Greek Muse of history, and "-metrics," as in "econometrics" ("the application of statistical methods to the study of economic data and problems") or "biometrics" ("the statistical analysis of biological observations and phenomena"). American economists Douglass North and Robert Fogel developed cliometrics, a highly quantitative means for studying the past. In 1993, North and Fogel won the Nobel Prize in Economics for their pioneering work.

Examples of cliometrics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This isn't too surprising, as there wasn't that much cliometrics. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 10 July 2012

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

Word History


Clio + -metrics (as in econometrics)

First Known Use

1960, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cliometrics was in 1960


Dictionary Entries Near cliometrics

Cite this Entry

“Cliometrics.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

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