[his-tuh-ree, his-tree]

noun, plural his·to·ries.

Origin of history

1350–1400; Middle English historie < Latin historia < Greek historía “learning or knowing by inquiry, history”; derivative of hístōr “one who knows or sees” (akin to wit2, video, Veda )
Related formsun·der·his·to·ry, noun, plural un·der·his·to·ries.un·his·to·ry, noun, plural un·his·to·ries.

Synonyms for history

Synonym study

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

Examples from the Web for histories

Contemporary Examples of histories

Historical Examples of histories

British Dictionary definitions for histories


noun plural -ries

  1. a record or account, often chronological in approach, of past events, developments, etc
  2. (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
Abbreviation (for senses 1–3): hist

Word Origin for history

C15: from Latin historia, from Greek: enquiry, from historein to narrate, from histōr judge
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 histories



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]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with histories


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.