Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

history

 - definition
 
 
 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
noun history pronunciation in British English /ˈhɪst(ə)ri/ 
Word Forms
Close
singularhistory
pluralhistories
 
  1. 1
    [uncountable] the whole of time before the present, and all things that happened in that time
    in recorded history:

    These temperatures are the highest in recorded history.

    throughout history:

    Attitudes to gender roles have changed throughout history.

    recent history:

    No other band in recent history has sold as many concert tickets.

    1. a.
      [singular/uncountable] the things that have happened in a particular place or to a particular group of people

      I'm writing a book on this area's history.

      The University has a distinguished history.

      the history of Spain

      world/Western history

      a chequered history (=in which both good and bad things have happened):

      an unusual building with a chequered history

    2. b.
      [countable/uncountable] all the things that a particular person has done or experienced

      I feel like a part of my history has been taken away.

      medical history:

      It's important to consider a child's medical history.

    3. c.
      [singular/uncountable] the way that a particular subject or object has developed or changed throughout its existence

      the history of economic thought

      literary/archaeological history

      a landmark in the history of something:

      This book was a landmark in the history of English fiction.

  2. 2
    [uncountable] the study of the events of the past

    He teaches history at the local school.

    history books

  3. 3
    [countable] an account of the events that happened during a particular period of the past
    history of:

    a history of the Romans

    The book provides a comprehensive history of the Second World War.

  4. 4
    [countable/uncountable] the length of time that something has existed

    For the first time in its 70-year history the club has admitted women members.

    trace something's history (=follow or describe something's past, back to a particular time):

    The village can trace its history back to 1078.

phrases

 

Open Dictionary

chicken raffle

any random process, such as a competition in which a name is drawn from a hat

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog