See also: History


English Wikipedia has articles on:

Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English historie, from Old French estoire, estorie (chronicle, history, story) (French histoire), from Latin historia, from Ancient Greek ἱστορία (historía, learning through research, narration of what is learned), from ἱστορέω (historéō, to learn through research, to inquire), from ἵστωρ (hístōr, the one who knows, the expert), from Proto-Indo-European *weyd- (see, know). Compare story.

Attested in Middle English in 1393 by John Gower, Confessio Amantis,[1] which was aimed at an educated audience familiar with French and Latin.


  • enPR: hĭsʹt(ə)rē, hĭsʹtrĭ, IPA(key): /ˈhɪst(ə)ɹi/, /ˈhɪst(ə)ɹɪ/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: his‧to‧ry, hist‧ory


English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikiversity has a lecture on

Wikiversity history (countable and uncountable, plural histories)

  1. The aggregate of past events.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 7, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      With some of it on the south and more of it on the north of the great main thoroughfare that connects Aldgate and the East India Docks, St. Bede's at this period of its history was perhaps the poorest and most miserable parish in the East End of London.
    • 2012 March-April, Jan Sapp, “Race Finished”, in American Scientist, volume 100, number 2, page 164:
      Few concepts are as emotionally charged as that of race. The word conjures up a mixture of associations—culture, ethnicity, genetics, subjugation, exclusion and persecution. But is the tragic history of efforts to define groups of people by race really a matter of the misuse of science, the abuse of a valid biological concept?
    • 2017 June 24, James O'Shea, quoting Gerry Adams, “BREAKING: Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams says end to partition of Ireland “in a few short years””, in IrishCentral:
      So, we have a shared history - we will also have a shared future.
    History repeats itself if we don’t learn from its mistakes.
  2. The branch of knowledge that studies the past; the assessment of notable events.
    • 2013 September 6, Peter Beaumont, “Lessons of past cast shadows over Syria”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 13, page 18:
      History and experience act as a filter that can distort as much as elucidate. It is largely forgotten now, overlooked in the one-line description of Tony Blair and George W Bush as the men who lied about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, but there was a wider context to their conviction.
    He teaches history at the university.   History will not look kindly on these tyrants.   He dreams of an invention that will make history.
  3. (countable) A set of events involving an entity.
    What is your medical history?   The family's history includes events best forgotten.
    • 2014 October 21, Oliver Brown, “Oscar Pistorius jailed for five years – sport afforded no protection against his tragic fallibilities: Bladerunner's punishment for killing Reeva Steenkamp is but a frippery when set against the burden that her bereft parents, June and Barry, must carry [print version: No room for sentimentality in this tragedy, 13 September 2014, p. S22]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Sport)[1]:
      [I]n the 575 days since [Oscar] Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, there has been an unseemly scramble to construct revisionist histories, to identify evidence beneath that placid exterior of a pugnacious, hair-trigger personality.
  4. (countable) A record or narrative description of past events.
    I really enjoyed Shakespeare's tragedies more than his histories.
  5. (countable, medicine) A list of past and continuing medical conditions of an individual or family.
    A personal medical history is required for the insurance policy.   He has a history of cancer in his family.
  6. (countable, computing) A record of previous user events, especially of visited web pages in a browser.
    I visited a great site yesterday but forgot the URL. Luckily, I didn't clear my history.
  7. (informal) Something that no longer exists or is no longer relevant.
    I told him that if he doesn't get his act together, he's history.
  8. (uncountable) Shared experience or interaction.
    There is too much history between them for them to split up now.
    He has had a lot of history with the police.


Derived termsEdit


  • Pitcairn-Norfolk: histrei


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


history (third-person singular simple present histories, present participle historying, simple past and past participle historied)

  1. (obsolete) To narrate or record.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)


  1. ^ OED
  • history at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • history in Keywords for Today: A 21st Century Vocabulary, edited by The Keywords Project, Colin MacCabe, Holly Yanacek, 2018.
  • "history" in Raymond Williams, Keywords (revised), 1983, Fontana Press, page 146.
  • history in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911.


Middle EnglishEdit



  1. Alternative form of historie