[ hi-stawr-ee-uh n, -stohr- ]
/ hɪˈstɔr i ən, -ˈstoʊr- /


an expert in history; authority on history.
a writer of history; chronicler.

Nearby words

  1. histophysiology,
  2. histoplasma capsulatum,
  3. histoplasmin,
  4. histoplasmoma,
  5. histoplasmosis,
  6. historiaster,
  7. historiated,
  8. historic,
  9. historic episcopate,
  10. historic places trust

Origin of historian

1400–50; late Middle English. See history, -an

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for historian

British Dictionary definitions for historian


/ (hɪˈstɔːrɪən) /


a person who writes or studies history, esp one who is an authority on it
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for historian



mid-15c., from Middle French historien (14c.), from Latin historia (see history). As "writer of history in the higher sense" (distinguished from a mere annalist or chronicler), from 1530s. The Old English word was þeod-wita.

[T]he historian's fallacy is the error of assuming that a man who has a given historical experience knows it, when he has had it, to be all that a historian would know it to be, with the advantage of historical perspective. [David Hackett Fischer, "Historians' Fallacies," 1970]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper