oral history

noun

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
oral historian noun

Example Sentences

I'm reading an oral history of the Great Depression.
Recent Examples on the Web Coffee, the Dallas lawyer who started Roe vs. Wade with a $15 filing fee on March 3, 1970, was in town Tuesday to be interviewed for an oral history project with the Veteran Feminists of America. Dallas News, 3 May 2022 The more pressing point is how the narration serves as an oral history to be passed down by its characters from generation to generation. Odie Henderson, BostonGlobe.com, 5 Jan. 2023 Crafted in the form of an oral history interspersed with footage from the National Archives, the film interviews three Chicago women, Kate Hyndman, Stella Nowicki and Sylvia Woods, who served as labor organizers during that period. Mike Barnes, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Dec. 2022 Though there was some discussion of releasing the book as an oral history, Rosenthal said that presenting it as a memoir from Newman was more profound and powerful. Dave Itzkoff, New York Times, 16 Oct. 2022 What began in 1986 as a collaboration between Paul Newman and his friend, the screenwriter Stewart Stern, as an oral history of Newman's life and work finally sees the light of day as a memoir. The Editors, Town & Country, 6 Oct. 2022 The nonprofit The HistoryMakers digital oral history archives has a similar idea. Dallas News, 3 Jan. 2023 In the past few decades, popular chroniclers influenced both by fiction and by oral history have taken up polyphonic approaches. Parul Sehgal, The New Yorker, 26 Dec. 2022 Continuing his established tradition of spellbinding cameos in Academy Award-winning films, Walken briefly appears in Quentin Tarantino's seminal Pulp Fiction to deliver a wild four-minute oral history. Joe Tobal, EW.com, 9 Dec. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1950, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of oral history was in 1950

Dictionary Entries Near oral history

Cite this Entry

“Oral history.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oral%20history. Accessed 9 Feb. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY