history

noun
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

Synonyms

annals, chronicle, record

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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

This rings especially true for those who have a history of eczema or skin allergies, explains Zeichner, who adds that overdoing it on detergent is another factor that can lead to an adverse reaction. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "How to Tell If Your Laundry Detergent Is Messing With Your Skin," 15 June 2019 Woodward had a history of mental illness and drug cases. Jason Pohl, ProPublica, "There Has Been an Explosion of Homicides in California’s County Jails. Here’s Why.," 15 June 2019 Rounding out Moe’s little crime challenge is Tabitha, a popular girl whom Moe has a long and thorny history with (who got the Polly Pocket in their youthful friendship breakup?). Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "R29 Binge Club: Netflix’s Trinkets Recap," 15 June 2019 Taylor Swift and Katy Perry have a long and complicated history, dating back publicly to 2009. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Taylor Swift Just Responded to Rumors She and Katy Perry Kiss in Her New Video," 15 June 2019 San Leandro has a long history as California’s sausage capital, where rows of operations once cased bratwurst, bangers, chorizo and the prosaic hot dog. Melia Russell, SFChronicle.com, "Saag’s meatpacking workers to protest severance offer," 14 June 2019 Court records show a history of marital discord between the couple, who married in 2013 and have three young children together. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al.com, "Alabama man killed by shotgun blast; wife jailed on murder charge," 14 June 2019 Hong Kong has a long and storied history of political protest, beginning in its days as a British Colony, and continuing past its handover to Beijing in 1997. Antony Dapiran, CNN, "City of dissent: Hong Kong has a proud tradition of protesting to protect its unique identity," 14 June 2019 There is a long history of big men having limited careers due to foot problems. oregonlive.com, "Bol Bol is the biggest boom-or-bust prospect of the 2019 NBA draft: Commentary," 14 June 2019

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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Statistics for history

Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for history

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

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More Definitions for history

history

noun

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.

history

noun
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.

history

noun
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with history

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for history

Spanish Central: Translation of history

Nglish: Translation of history for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of history for Arabic Speakers

Comments on history

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