View synonyms for history


[ his-tuh-ree, his-tree ]


, 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.

    Synonyms: annals, record

  3. the aggregate of past events.
  4. the record of past events and times, especially in connection with the human race.
  5. a past notable for its important, unusual, or interesting events:

    a ship with a history.

  6. 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.

  7. a systematic account of any set of natural phenomena without particular reference to time:

    a history of the American eagle.

  8. a drama representing historical events:

    Shakespeare's comedies, histories, and tragedies.


/ ˈhɪstrɪ; ˈhɪstərɪ /


    1. a record or account, often chronological in approach, of past events, developments, etc
    2. ( as modifier )

      a history play

      a history book

  1. all that is preserved or remembered of the past, esp in written form
  2. the discipline of recording and interpreting past events involving human beings
  3. past events, esp when considered as an aggregate
  4. an event in the past, esp one that has been forgotten or reduced in importance

    their quarrel was just history

  5. the past, background, previous experiences, etc, of a thing or person

    the house had a strange history

  6. computing a stored list of the websites that a user has recently visited
  7. a play that depicts or is based on historical events
  8. a narrative relating the events of a character's life

    the history of Joseph Andrews

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Other Words From

  • under·histo·ry noun plural underhistories
  • un·histo·ry noun plural unhistories
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Word History and Origins

Origin of history1

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 wit 2, video, Veda
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Word History and Origins

Origin of history1

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

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Example Sentences

If so, it’s because Facebook identified you as someone who has the potential to lead the group, as you don’t have a history of violations.

“Encores” is a weekly online series highlighting past performances from the historic Folger stage, recalling the rich history of public programming at the Folger.

Five of California’s 10 largest fires in modern history are all burning at once.

So Brazil has an unfortunate history of sensitive data finding its way onto the internet.

Three of the largest fires in history burned simultaneously in a ring around the San Francisco Bay Area.

As an example of good science-and-society policymaking, the history of fluoride may be more of a cautionary tale.

Certain features of its history suggest why this may be the case.

The well, ghost or no ghost, is certainly a piece of history with a bold presence.

“Lockheed Martin has a long history of misrepresenting facts,” Wheeler added.

Although Huckabee's condescending tone - like that of an elementary school history teacher - makes it difficult to take seriously.

The well-worn aphorism of the Frenchman, “History repeats itself,” was about to assert itself.

Had not this Indian plant been discovered, the whole history of some portions of America would have been far different.

Be Bry in his History of Brazil describes its use and also some interesting particulars concerning the plant.

I cannot see in science, nor in experience, nor in history any signs of such a God, nor of such intervention.

History gives them scant notice, and the Federal government has failed to reward them as they deserve.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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