oral history


Definition of oral history

1 : a recording containing information about the past obtained from in-depth interviews concerning personal experiences, recollections, and reflections also : the study of such information
2 : a written work based on oral history

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from oral history

oral historian noun

Examples of oral history in a Sentence

I'm reading an oral history of the Great Depression.

Recent Examples on the Web

Duncan structures it as an oral history, including interviews with George Lucas, concept artist Ralph McQuarrie, sound designer Ben Burtt, and actors Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "The Star Wars Archives is a monster behind-the-scenes book," 15 Dec. 2018 But in the case of GoldenEye 007's 21st birthday, the N64 classic received quite the treat this week: an oral history starring a few of the game's original developers. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "GoldenEye 007 gets quite the 21st-birthday present: An oral history," 23 Aug. 2018 By Eugenie Buchan ForeEdge, 252 pages, $35 Mr. Kleiner culls new details from previously unused or underused oral histories, diaries, personal letters and after-action reports. Gregory Crouch, WSJ, "‘The Flying Tigers’ and ‘A Few Planes for China’ Review: Tigers Over a Rising Sun," 19 July 2018 Fisher is the author of Valley of Genius, an oral history of the last half-century of Silicon Valley created through over 200 interviews. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Valley of Genius author Adam Fisher on what it’s like to create an oral history of Silicon Valley," 16 Aug. 2018 As part of the 20th anniversary, the Byrd Foundation for Racial Healing has announced plans to open a museum in Jasper and digitize an anti-hate oral history project. New York Times, "In Texas, a Decades-Old Hate Crime, Forgiven but Never Forgotten," 9 July 2018 Tim Rohan’s excellent oral history of mock drafts, everyone’s favorite ... Jonathan Jones, SI.com, "Maybe NFL Teams Can Learn Something From Jeter’s Marlins," 23 Apr. 2018 Stanton had read about an oral history project in North Carolina and decided to apply for a grant from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Andrew M. Davenport, Smithsonian, "Putting Enslaved Families’ Stories Back in the Monticello Narrative," 14 June 2018 This feature comes from an unexpected source: MEL Magazine, an online-only outlet operated by Dollar Shave Club with only one other gaming oral history under its belt. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "GoldenEye 007 gets quite the 21st-birthday present: An oral history," 23 Aug. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of oral history

1950, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about oral history

Dictionary Entries near oral history

oral disc


oral groove

oral history

oral hood


oral law

Statistics for oral history

Last Updated

19 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for oral history

The first known use of oral history was in 1950

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for oral history

oral history


English Language Learners Definition of oral history

: recorded information about the past that you get from talking to people about their experiences, families, etc.
: a book, article, etc., that is based on oral history

More from Merriam-Webster on oral history

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with oral history

Comments on oral history

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


to move or proceed with twists and turns

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Bee Cubed

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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