[ hi-stawr-i-kuhl, -stor- ]
See synonyms for historical on Thesaurus.com
  1. of, relating to, treating, or characteristic of history or past events: historical records;historical research.

  2. based on or reconstructed from an event, custom, style, etc., in the past: a historical reenactment of the battle of Gettysburg.

  1. having once existed or lived in the real world, as opposed to being part of legend or fiction or as distinguished from religious belief: Scholars doubt that a historical Camelot ever existed. Her thesis was an overview of how theologians have studied the historical Jesus.

  2. narrated or mentioned in history; belonging to the past: He cited several historical examples of international conflict resolution.

  3. relating to or involving analysis based on a comparison among several periods of development of a phenomenon, as in language or economics: She taught a course in historical linguistics.

Origin of historical

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English, from Latin historic(us) historic + -al1

Other words for historical

Other words from historical

  • his·tor·i·cal·ly, adverb
  • his·tor·i·cal·ness, noun
  • an·ti·his·tor·i·cal, adjective
  • an·ti·his·tor·i·cal·ness, noun
  • non·his·tor·i·cal, adjective
  • non·his·tor·i·cal·ness, noun
  • pseu·do·his·tor·i·cal, adjective
  • qua·si-his·tor·i·cal, adjective
  • sem·i·his·tor·i·cal, adjective
  • su·per·his·tor·i·cal, adjective
  • un·his·tor·i·cal, adjective

Words that may be confused with historical

Words Nearby historical

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use historical in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for historical


/ (hɪˈstɒrɪkəl) /

  1. belonging to or typical of the study of history: historical methods

  2. concerned with or treating of events of the past: historical accounts

  1. based on or constituting factual material as distinct from legend or supposition

  2. based on or inspired by history: a historical novel

  3. occurring or prominent in history

  4. a less common word for historic (def. 1)

Derived forms of historical

  • historically, adverb
  • historicalness, noun

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