history - definition and synonyms


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  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.

     Synonyms and related words
    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

       Synonyms and related words
    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

      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.