his·​to·​ri·​an | \ hi-ˈstȯr-ē-ən How to pronounce historian (audio) , -ˈstär-\

Definition of historian

1 : a student or writer of history especially : one who produces a scholarly synthesis
2 : a writer or compiler of a chronicle

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Synonyms for historian


annalist, chronicler

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Examples of historian in a Sentence

historians are still trying to sort out fact from fiction in the story of Kateri Tekakwitha, the Lily of the Mohawks

Recent Examples on the Web

Ford’s pardon of fellow Republican Nixon after his resignation was widely panned at the time but later perceived by historians to have helped put Watergate in the past. Elana Schor, BostonGlobe.com, "Lock him up? Democrats weigh what to do about Trump’s deeds after he leaves office," 13 June 2019 Her father, a professor of education, comes from a large and prosperous family in Mexico City, and her mother, an art historian, is a Florentine who grew up in Philadelphia. Rob Haskell, Vogue, "What’s Next for Gabriela Cámara? A New L.A. Restaurant—And Foray into Politics," 15 May 2019 In 2015, a tech-savvy art historian named Andrew Tallon used lasers to create detailed 3-D scans of the cathedral (among other historic buildings) and found, for one thing, that its builders took shortcuts. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "Notre Dame Cathedral Will Never Be the Same—and That's Ok," 19 Apr. 2019 No concrete evidence of the Titanic conspiracy stands up to the evidence presented by the historians. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Wild Conspiracy That the Titanic Never Sank," 27 Feb. 2019 But in the past year two books, one by a historian and the other by a journalist, have attempted to tell the definitive documentary story of the disaster. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "What HBO’s “Chernobyl” Got Right, and What It Got Terribly Wrong," 4 June 2019 There, Scobie meets back up with Isabella Coraça, a historian and curator with Historic Royal Palaces, who reveals the stunning court dresses worn by the British Royal Family. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Inside the Royal Archives: A Look Back at the Most Iconic Royal Dresses," 30 May 2019 No one knows how many died; historians say up to two million. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "Get Ready for the Struggle Session," 7 Mar. 2019 The Salem witch trials, explained by politics What exactly caused the mass hysteria in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692 and 1693 is still a subject that divides historians and others who study the witch trials. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Trump’s favorite slander against Robert Mueller’s investigation has a very long history.," 26 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'historian.' 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 historian

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for historian

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

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The first known use of historian was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for historian



English Language Learners Definition of historian

: a person who studies or writes about history


his·​to·​ri·​an | \ hi-ˈstȯr-ē-ən How to pronounce historian (audio) \

Kids Definition of historian

: a person who studies or writes about history

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