history

noun his·to·ry \ ˈhi-st(ə-)rē \
Updated on: 9 Nov 2017

Definition of history

plural histories
1 :tale, story
2 a :a chronological record of significant events (such as those affecting a nation or institution) often including an explanation of their causes
  • a history of Japan
b :a treatise presenting systematically related natural phenomena (as of geography, animals, or plants)
  • an illustrated history of North American birds
c :an account of a patient's medical background
  • reviewing her medical history
d :an established record
  • a prisoner with a history of violence
3 :a branch of knowledge that records and explains past events
  • medieval history
4 a :events that form the subject matter of a history
  • the history of space exploration
b :events of the past
  • History has shown that such efforts rarely succeed.
c :one that is finished or done for
  • the winning streak was history
  • you're history
d :previous treatment, handling, or experience (as of a metal)
  • a history of repeated exposure to freezing temperatures

Examples of history in a Sentence

  1. I studied history in college.

  2. a professor of medieval history

  3. They were one of the greatest teams in history.

  4. It was one of the most destructive storms in modern history.

  5. It was a period in American history when most people lived and worked on farms.

  6. The history of space exploration is a fascinating topic.

  7. He wrote a well-known history of the British empire.

  8. The book begins with a brief history of the Internet.

Recent Examples of history from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'history.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of history

Middle English histoire, historie, from Anglo-French estoire, histoire, from Latin historia, from Greek, inquiry, history, from histōr, istōr knowing, learned; akin to Greek eidenai to know — more at wit


HISTORY Defined for English Language Learners

history

noun

Definition of history for English Language Learners

  • : the study of past events

  • : events of the past

  • : past events that relate to a particular subject, place, organization, etc.


HISTORY Defined for Kids

history

noun his·to·ry \ ˈhi-stə-rē \

Definition of history for Students

plural histories
1 :events of the past and especially those relating to a particular place or subject
  • European history
2 :a branch of knowledge that records and explains past events
3 :a written report of past events
  • She wrote a history of the Internet.
4 :an established record of past events
  • His criminal history is well-known.

Medical Dictionary

history

noun his·to·ry \ ˈhis-t(ə-)rē \

medical Definition of history

plural histories
:an account of a patient's family and personal background and past and present health


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by intense feeling

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!