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

Synonyms for history


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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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Under Warren, the court would go on to become the most progressive in history. Ian Macdougall, Harper’s Magazine , 28 Sep. 2022 For the first time in history, the pound is on track to hit parity with the dollar before the end of the year. Allison Morrow, CNN, 26 Sep. 2022 Since 1950, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have spiked to the highest levels in history based on ice cores and other measurements. Emily Dreibelbis, PCMAG, 26 Sep. 2022 Some investors and analysts expect the British pound to weaken further and potentially reach parity with the U.S. dollar for the first time in history. Anna Hirtenstein, WSJ, 26 Sep. 2022 Meloni is not only set to become Italy's first female prime minister in history, but to also spearhead the country's most conservative government in decades. Taylor Penley, Fox News, 26 Sep. 2022 For the first time in history, Black veterans are getting a monument to acknowledge their service and contributions in the U.S. military. Claretta Bellamy, NBC News, 26 Sep. 2022 The film generated $10 million in North America and $20.5 million internationally over the weekend, a huge result for movie that opened more than a decade ago, even if that movie happens to be the highest-grossing global release in history. Rebecca Rubin, Variety, 25 Sep. 2022 The major blockbuster became the second highest-grossing film in history at the time and won numerous awards, including a Grammy and an Oscar. Skyler Caruso, Peoplemag, 25 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for history

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near history



history is on someone's side

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Statistics for history

Last Updated

30 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“History.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/history. Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for history


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.


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

More from Merriam-Webster on history

Nglish: Translation of history for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of history for Arabic Speakers


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