chro·​nol·​o·​gy krə-ˈnä-lə-jē How to pronounce chronology (audio)
plural chronologies
: the science that deals with measuring time by regular divisions and that assigns to events their proper dates
: a chronological table, list, or account
a chronology of the author's works
: an arrangement (as of events) in order of occurrence
reconstruct the chronology of the trip
The book provides a chronology of events leading up to the American Civil War.

Did you know?

History is much more than a simple chronology of events, but keeping events in chronological order is the first essential step in thinking about it. When, for example, historians try to show how World War I prepared the way for World War II, tracking the chronology of the events in the years between the two wars can help in explaining a complicated historical era.

Example Sentences

We tried to reconstruct the chronology of the accident. The book provides a chronology of the events leading up to the American Civil War.
Recent Examples on the Web Acupuncture may have been used to treat tooth pain in ancient China, but the chronology remains uncertain. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, 3 Nov. 2022 On every Naval watch shift, an officer records the workaday vital signs of the ship, which might include a chronology of the ship’s movements or particulars of its anchorage, the status of its power systems, vessels spotted nearby, and absentees or injuries onboard. Danny Freedman, Washington Post, 27 Sep. 2022 One concrete walkway is embedded with a chronology that commemorates the site’s past. John King, San Francisco Chronicle, 1 Feb. 2022 That season, an underrated masterpiece, scrambled the typical chronology of true crime, beginning with the titular murder and winding backwards through Andrew Cunanan’s serial killing spree. Alison Herman, Variety, 10 May 2023 Although the chronology of the book is wide, extending from the black-and-white era through the grainy early days of digital to the twenty-two-megapixel present, most of the pictures date from the nineteen-nineties and early two-thousands, when Frosini was a little kid. Max Norman, The New Yorker, 26 Sep. 2022 Nyneve Minnear and Jake Hostetter keep the structure loose and freewheeling while at the same time following the linear chronology of the subject’s life. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Jan. 2023 Instead of plodding through the chronology of Bowie’s life and career, Morgen conjures the singer’s presence through an artful collage of concert footage and other archival material, including feature films and music videos. A.o. Scott, New York Times, 15 Sep. 2022 Here’s a brief chronology of the cheerleaders’ high points, which are being celebrated in a new podcast, released by Texas Monthly. Dallas News, 1 Jan. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chronology.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from New Latin chronologia, from chrono- chrono- + -logia -logy

First Known Use

1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of chronology was in 1585

Dictionary Entries Near chronology

Cite this Entry

“Chronology.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


chro·​nol·​o·​gy krə-ˈnäl-ə-jē How to pronounce chronology (audio)
plural chronologies
: the science that deals with measuring time and dating events
: a chronological table or list

More from Merriam-Webster on chronology

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!