- the branch of knowledge dealing with past events.
- a continuous, systematic narrative of past events as relating to a particular people, country, period, person, etc., usually written as a chronological account; chronicle: a history of France; a medical history of the patient.
- the aggregate of past events.
- the record of past events and times, especially in connection with the human race.
- a past notable for its important, unusual, or interesting events: a ship with a history.
- acts, ideas, or events that will or can shape the course of the future; immediate but significant happenings: Firsthand observers of our space program see history in the making.
- a systematic account of any set of natural phenomena without particular reference to time: a history of the American eagle.
- a drama representing historical events: Shakespeare's comedies, histories, and tragedies.
Origin of history
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for history
As an example of good science-and-society policymaking, the history of fluoride may be more of a cautionary tale.
Certain features of its history suggest why this may be the case.
The well, ghost or no ghost, is certainly a piece of history with a bold presence.New York’s Most Tragic Ghost Loves Minimalist Swedish Fashion
January 8, 2015
Andy Serkis, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Do you want to be on the wrong side of history, Academy?Oscars 2015: The Daily Beast’s Picks, From Scarlett Johansson to ‘Boyhood’
January 6, 2015
Finding the shop is a trip in itself and an introduction to a slice of history.The Photographer Who Gave Up Manhattan for Marrakech
January 6, 2015
The History of Man is the record of a hungry creature in search of food.
This is a record and result that no careful student of our history will, I take it, deny.'Tis Sixty Years Since
Charles Francis Adams
There, for the first time in history, man had ceased to be a roving animal.
Our present financial condition is without a parallel in history.
History tells us of glorious friendships in the ancient world.
- a record or account, often chronological in approach, of past events, developments, etc
- (as modifier)a history book; a history play
- all that is preserved or remembered of the past, esp in written form
- the discipline of recording and interpreting past events involving human beings
- past events, esp when considered as an aggregate
- an event in the past, esp one that has been forgotten or reduced in importancetheir quarrel was just history
- the past, background, previous experiences, etc, of a thing or personthe house had a strange history
- computing a stored list of the websites that a user has recently visited
- a play that depicts or is based on historical events
- a narrative relating the events of a character's lifethe history of Joseph Andrews
Word Origin and History for history
late 14c., "relation of incidents" (true or false), from Old French estoire, estorie "chronicle, history, story" (12c., Modern French histoire), from Latin historia "narrative of past events, account, tale, story," from Greek historia "a learning or knowing by inquiry; an account of one's inquiries, history, record, narrative," from historein "inquire," from histor "wise man, judge," from PIE *wid-tor-, from root *weid- "to know," literally "to see" (see vision).
Related to Greek idein "to see," and to eidenai "to know." In Middle English, not differentiated from story; sense of "record of past events" probably first attested late 15c. As a branch of knowledge, from 1842. Sense of "systematic account (without reference to time) of a set of natural phenomena" (1560s) is now obsolete except in natural history.
One difference between history and imaginative literature ... is that history neither anticipates nor satisfies our curiosity, whereas literature does. [Guy Davenport, "Wheel Ruts," 1996]