historic

adjective
his·​tor·​ic | \ hi-ˈstȯr-ik How to pronounce historic (audio) , -ˈstär-\

Definition of historic

: historical: such as
a : famous or important in history historic battlefields
b : having great and lasting importance a historic occasion
c : known or established in the past historic interest rates
d : dating from or preserved from a past time or culture historic buildings historic artifacts

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historic or historical?

Do you experience a slight pause before using either of these words as you try to remember which one is correct and whether it should be preceded by an or a? If so, you’re not alone, for many people find this pair particularly tricky. Historic and historical are both occasionally found preceded by an, since the initial h in each word was formerly left unpronounced. Now this h is heard, and a is far more common than an (by a ratio of about 4 to 1 in American English).

Historic and historical have been used interchangeably by many writers, even in recent years. If you would like to avoid being corrected, however, use historical for matters relating to history (the historical society), and historic to refer to things having great and lasting importance (a historic occasion).

Examples of historic in a Sentence

It's wonderful to see so many people here on this historic occasion. She returned safely from her historic flight into space. The court made a historic decision last week. They know of many historic volcanic eruptions in the area. the historic importance of the river
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Recent Examples on the Web

Hap eventually bought out Tony and worked his way to becoming a Master Joyner where his work can be found on many 17th and 18th Century historic homes throughout New England. courant.com, "Galen Shepherd," 15 Sep. 2019 Still, the damage was far less than feared in many parts of the Carolinas, including historic Charleston, South Carolina, which is prone to flooding even from ordinary storms, and Wilmington, North Carolina, the state's biggest coastal city. Fox News, "Hurricane Dorian sets sights on Canada after 'biblical' flooding in North Carolina," 8 Sep. 2019 Still, the damage was far less than feared in many parts of the Carolinas, including historic Charleston, South Carolina, which is prone to flooding even from ordinary storms, and Wilmington, North Carolina, the state’s biggest coastal city. Washington Post, "Dorian leaves North Carolina behind, aims wrath at Canada," 7 Sep. 2019 Still, the damage was far less than feared in many parts of the Carolinas, including historic Charleston, South Carolina, which is prone to flooding even from ordinary storms, and Wilmington, North Carolina, the state's biggest coastal city. Ben Finley, Anchorage Daily News, "Stranded North Carolinians take stock of Dorian’s damage as storm bands reach Nova Scotia," 7 Sep. 2019 Still, the damage was far less than feared in many parts of the Carolinas, including historic Charleston, South Carolina, which is prone to flooding even from ordinary storms, and Wilmington, North Carolina, the state’s biggest coastal city. Ben Finley, The Denver Post, "Dorian’s floodwaters trap people in attics in North Carolina," 6 Sep. 2019 Along King Street in historic Charleston, South Carolina, dozens of shops and restaurants typically bustling with tourists were boarded up, plywood and corrugated metal over windows and doors, as the flood-prone downtown area braced for high water. Marko Álvarez, Time, "The Death Toll from Hurricane Dorian in the Devastated Bahamas Climbs to 20," 5 Sep. 2019 Along King Street in historic Charleston, S.C., dozens of shops and restaurants typically bustling with tourists were boarded up, plywood and corrugated metal over windows and doors, as the flood-prone downtown area braced for high water. Marko Alvarez, BostonGlobe.com, "Hurricane death toll climbs to 20 in devastated Bahamas," 4 Sep. 2019 English Heritage unveiled a blue plaque—marking historic homes—at the former house of journalist Martha Gellhorn. Fortune, "Want to Come Back to My Hotel Room—For an Interview? The Broadsheet," 4 Sep. 2019

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

1594, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for historic

Last Updated

12 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for historic

The first known use of historic was in 1594

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More Definitions for historic

historic

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of historic

: famous or important in history
: having great and lasting importance
: happening or existing in the past

historic

adjective
his·​tor·​ic | \ hi-ˈstȯr-ik How to pronounce historic (audio) \

Kids Definition of historic

: famous in history

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More from Merriam-Webster on historic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with historic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for historic

Spanish Central: Translation of historic

Nglish: Translation of historic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of historic for Arabic Speakers

Comments on historic

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

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