• synonyms


[hi-stawr-ik, -stor-]
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  1. well-known or important in history: a historic building; historic occasions.
  2. historical(defs 1–5).
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Origin of historic

1605–15; < Latin historicus < Greek historikós historical, scientific, equivalent to histor(ía) inquiry (see history) + -ikos -ic
Related formsnon·his·tor·ic, adjectivepseu·do·his·tor·ic, adjectivequa·si-his·tor·ic, adjectivesem·i·his·tor·ic, adjectivesu·per·his·tor·ic, adjectiveun·his·tor·ic, adjective
Can be confusedhistoric historical hysterical


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for historic


  1. famous or likely to become famous in history; significant
  2. a less common word for historical (def. 1), historical (def. 2), historical (def. 3), historical (def. 4), historical (def. 5)
  3. Also: secondary linguistics (of Latin, Greek, or Sanskrit verb tenses) referring to past time
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A distinction is usually made between historic (important, significant) and historical (pertaining to history): a historic decision; a historical perspective
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 historic


1660s, probably a back-formation from historical, perhaps influenced by French historique. What is historic is noted or celebrated in history; what is historical deals with history.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper