Definition of historical
- historical data
- historical novels
He strove for historical accuracy in the movie.
The kings are listed in historical order.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'historical.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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).
What made you want to look up historical? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Confusing Words—A Quiz