[ his-tuh-ree, his-tree ]
See synonyms for history on Thesaurus.com
noun,plural his·to·ries.
  1. the branch of knowledge dealing with past events.

  2. 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.

  1. the aggregate of past events.

  2. the record of past events and times, especially in connection with the human race.

  3. a past notable for its important, unusual, or interesting events: a ship with a history.

  4. 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.

  5. a systematic account of any set of natural phenomena without particular reference to time: a history of the American eagle.

  6. a drama representing historical events: Shakespeare's comedies, histories, and tragedies.

Origin of history

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English historie, from Latin historia, from Greek historía “learning or knowing by inquiry, history”; derivative of hístōr “one who knows or sees; learned”; akin to wit2, video, Veda

synonym study For history

2. See narrative.

Other words for history

Other words from history

  • un·der·his·to·ry, noun, plural un·der·his·to·ries.
  • un·his·to·ry, noun, plural un·his·to·ries.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use history in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for history


/ (ˈhɪstərɪ, ˈhɪstrɪ) /

nounplural -ries
    • a record or account, often chronological in approach, of past events, developments, etc

    • (as modifier): a history book; a history play

  1. all that is preserved or remembered of the past, esp in written form

  1. the discipline of recording and interpreting past events involving human beings

  2. past events, esp when considered as an aggregate

  3. an event in the past, esp one that has been forgotten or reduced in importance: their quarrel was just history

  4. the past, background, previous experiences, etc, of a thing or person: the house had a strange history

  5. computing a stored list of the websites that a user has recently visited

  6. a play that depicts or is based on historical events

  7. a narrative relating the events of a character's life: the history of Joseph Andrews

Origin of history

C15: from Latin historia, from Greek: enquiry, from historein to narrate, from histōr judge
  • Abbreviation (for senses 1–3): hist

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with history


see ancient history; go down (in history); make history; (history) repeats itself.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.