his·​to·​ri·​an | \hi-ˈstȯr-ē-ən, -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



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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

In recounting the mistakes of his presidency, Eisenhower is said by some historians to have listed Brennan — though, as Wermiel pointed out in a law review article, no one has ever confirmed that Eisenhower made such a remark. Michael S. Rosenwald, Washington Post, "Catholics on the court: The historical struggle between canon and constitutional law," 8 July 2018 Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, said that a review by its historians found problems with assertions in last week’s agreement that were presented as unchallenged facts. Noga Tarnopolsky, latimes.com, "Israel's Holocaust memorial says agreement between Israeli and Polish leaders includes deceptions," 5 July 2018 The wide reach of Miranda’s work begs the question of historians: is the inspirational benefit of this cultural phenomenon worth looking past its missteps? Kate Keller, Smithsonian, "The Issue on the Table: Is “Hamilton” Good For History?," 30 May 2018 Generally underemphasized by historians is that 1968’s politics had one other fuel source: rock ’n’ roll music. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "The Year Politics Collapsed," 30 May 2018 The exhibition confines itself to Magritte’s late works, which tend to be those best loved by a broad public but less valued by art historians. Charles Desmarais, San Francisco Chronicle, "Getting surreal: Magritte’s late work pops at SFMOMA," 18 May 2018 The tour will be narrated by local historians and will start at the Riverfront Community Center at 2 p.m. The two-hour tour will focus on the town’s shipbuilding, industrial and agricultural roots. Peter Marteka, Courant Community, "Taking A Bus And Walk Through Glastonbury's History," 17 May 2018 The wave of historians discussing the topic comes after rapper Kanye West made controversial comments about slavery on TMZ. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Historians respond to Kanye West's controversial comments about slavery," 2 May 2018 Lynching occurred in all but four states in the contiguous United States, and less than 1 percent of the perpetrators were brought to justice, historians say. Erin B. Logan, Washington Post, "Why Congress failed nearly 200 times to make lynching a federal crime," 5 July 2018

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

8 Nov 2018

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

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English Language Learners Definition of historian

: a person who studies or writes about history


his·​to·​ri·​an | \hi-ˈstȯr-ē-ən \

Kids Definition of historian

: a person who studies or writes about history

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Comments on historian

What made you want to look up historian? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


obstinately defiant of authority

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