American English

Definition of history noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    , NAmE//ˈhɪstri//
    (pl. histories)
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  1. 1[uncountable] all the events that happened in the past a turning point in human history one of the worst disasters in recent history a people with no sense of history Many people throughout history have dreamt of a world without war. The area was inhabited long before the dawn of recorded history (= before people wrote about events). These events changed the course of history. see also ancient history
  2. 2[singular, uncountable] the past events concerned in the development of a particular place, subject, etc. the history of Texas/democracy/popular music The local history of the area is fascinating. The school traces its history back to 1865.
  3. 3[uncountable] the study of past events as a subject in school or college a history teacher a degree in History social/economic/political history ancient/medieval/modern history She's studying art history. see also natural history
  4. 4[countable] a written or spoken account of past events She's writing a new history of New York. She went on to catalog a long history of disasters.
  5. 5[singular] history (of something) a record of something happening frequently in the past life of a person, family, or place; the set of facts that are known about someone's past life He has a history of violent crime. There is a history of heart disease in my family. a patient's medical history Do you have a good credit history? (= a good record of paying back money that you borrow) see also case history, life history
  6. Idioms
    be history (informal)
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    to be dead or no longer important Another mistake like that and you're history. We won't talk about that—that's history. That's past history now.
    the history books
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    the record of great achievements in history She has earned her place in the history books.
    history repeats itself
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    used to say that things often happen later in the same way as before Years later family history repeated itself with Eve's daughters.
    make history, go down in history
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    to be or do something so important that it will be recorded in history a discovery that made medical history
    the rest is history
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    used when you are telling a story to say that you do not need to tell the end of it, because everyone knows it already
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: history