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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web San Diego County’s population fell by 11,183 residents from July 2020 to July 2021 — a rare occurrence in the region’s history. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 May 2022 Churchill Downs history is on a 75-race losing streak in Kentucky, but the horses running at Turfway and spring Keeneland aren’t Jackie’s Warrior. Ed Derosa, The Courier-Journal, 6 May 2022 No real history like you’ll see in other places in the Middle East. Jason Hoffman, The Enquirer, 6 May 2022 While creating the work, which features an image of The Bean and the Chicago flag, Montiel invited passersby to contribute by helping to add stones to the design or hearing the history of the carpets. Laura Rodríguez Presa, Chicago Tribune, 6 May 2022 United Arab Emirates Derby winner Crown Pride could make history as the first horse from Japan to win the Derby. Beth Harris, Hartford Courant, 6 May 2022 The first of these three games in eight days against Montreal is against a team with which the Lions have some recent history. Austin David, Orlando Sentinel, 6 May 2022 The town’s quiet demeanor is deceptive; the island’s history is a page turner. Washington Post, 6 May 2022 Tom Hanks' iconic character Forrest Gump lives a life full of adventure as history unfolds. Yaa Bofah, Good Housekeeping, 6 May 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near history



history is on someone's side

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Statistics for history

Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“History.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/history. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for history


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

More from Merriam-Webster on history

Nglish: Translation of history for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of history for Arabic Speakers


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