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

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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 In some instances the book reads more like an oral history. Washington Post, "Ruby Hamad’s essay about White women’s tears went viral. ‘White Tears/Brown Scars’ delves deeper into performative victimhood.," 16 Oct. 2020 Besser, who recalled the events in an oral history in 2010, said he was then called to another meeting by Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s intimidating chief of staff. Anchorage Daily News, "Inside the Fall of the CDC," 16 Oct. 2020 Besser, who recalled the events in an oral history in 2010, said he was then called to another meeting by Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s intimidating chief of staff. James Bandler, ProPublica, "Inside the Fall of the CDC," 15 Oct. 2020 Families can keep their ancestors’ histories alive by passing down stories by word of mouth (though oral history is considered most reliable when corroborated by at least some documentary evidence). Annette Gordon-reed, The New York Review of Books, "Rebellious History," 6 Oct. 2020 Joe says: When Auburn running back Tank Bigsby collides with Bumper Pool for the first time on Saturday the SEC Network should begin working on an oral history project to remember the moment. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, "Alabama stepping into a ‘crazy train’; Multiple SEC upsets on tap," 8 Oct. 2020 In her memoir Club of Stars, Maria Souza Hogan evokes the cultural celebrations, oral history of northern Brazil. courant.com, "Community News For The West Hartford Edition," 8 Oct. 2020 The Searing Light, the Sun and Everything Else, by Jon Savage, offers an oral history of Joy Division, the post-punk band whose unique members came together to create music that sounded like ideas. Tori Latham, The Atlantic, "The Books Briefing: British Invasion," 1 Oct. 2020 The resulting oral history, The Romance of American Communism—published soon after and reissued this year—reads like a series of case studies delineating a shared affliction. Dayna Tortorici, The New York Review of Books, "The Desk and the Daring," 22 Sep. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of oral history

1950, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of oral history was in 1950

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Last Updated

26 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Oral history.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oral%20history. Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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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

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