his·​to·​ry | \ ˈhi-st(ə-)rē How to pronounce history (audio) \
plural histories

Definition of history

1 : tale, story
2a : 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
4a : 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

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Synonyms for history


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Examples of history in a Sentence

I studied history in college. a professor of medieval history They were one of the greatest teams in history. It was one of the most destructive storms in modern history. It was a period in American history when most people lived and worked on farms. The history of space exploration is a fascinating topic. He wrote a well-known history of the British empire. The book begins with a brief history of the Internet.
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Recent Examples on the Web In the fall, Ward will transfer to Framingham State University to pursue his bachelor’s degree in history, with a minor in secondary education. Fox News, "Massachusetts students inspire school bus driver to return to college, finish degree," 5 July 2020 But hindsight suggests that March 6th 1974 may have been a turning-point in human history. The Economist, "If nuclear power had taken off What if nuclear power had taken off in the 1970s?," 4 July 2020 In other words, the youngest race winner in IndyCar history couldn’t drink any water during the nearly two-hour event. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, "IndyCar Grand Prix drivers drained after intense battle with heat at IMS," 4 July 2020 That is so far back in history that many have never even seen this level of clean air. Jason Goodall, Fortune, "Cities still have a place in the post-pandemic world—but they have to be different. Here’s how," 4 July 2020 Recent polls suggest that this year's BLM protests, which drew as many as 26 million people, were the largest movement in US history. John Blake, CNN, "Our country is in chaos. But it's a great time to be an American," 4 July 2020 American Airlines delays its Phoenix-London flights over COVID-19 3 of the best restaurants for takeout and delivery breakfast in Phoenix Tucker Carlson's show is the most popular in cable-news history. Ed Masley, The Arizona Republic, "Lindsey Stirling talks 'String Sessions,' Upside Fund, new music and life during COVID," 4 July 2020 Entering the third round, he's fixated on setting himself up to notch the first Tour victory in family history. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "An extinct 1970s Ford inspired Maverick McNealy's namesake. Here's the backstory," 4 July 2020 Barrett originally was the best backup QB in OSU history -- taking over just before the 2014 season when Braxton Miller went down. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "Ohio State football’s All-Decade Team -- my version of a full 85-player roster: Doug Lesmerises," 4 July 2020

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.

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First Known Use of history

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for 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

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Time Traveler for history

Time Traveler

The first known use of history was in the 14th century

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Statistics for history

Last Updated

7 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“History.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/history. Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for history


How to pronounce history (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of history

: the study of past events
: events of the past
: past events that relate to a particular subject, place, organization, etc.


his·​to·​ry | \ ˈhi-stə-rē How to pronounce history (audio) \
plural histories

Kids Definition of history

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.


his·​to·​ry | \ ˈhis-t(ə-)rē How to pronounce history (audio) \
plural histories

Medical Definition of history

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on history

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for history

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with history

Spanish Central: Translation of history

Nglish: Translation of history for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of history for Arabic Speakers

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