Definition of historical adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//hɪˈstɒrɪkl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈstɔːrɪkl//
    , NAmE//ˈstɑːrɪkl//
    [usually before noun] Describing a story
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  1. 1  connected with the past the historical background to the war You must place these events in their historical context. an essay on the historical development of the novel Women are not allowed to enter the monastery for historical reasons.
  2. 2  connected with the study of history historical documents/records/research The building is of historical importance. Which Word?historic / historical Historic is usually used to describe something that is so important that it is likely to be remembered:Today is a historic occasion for our country.Historical usually describes something that is connected with the past or with the study of history, or something that really happened in the past:I have been doing some historical research. Was Robin Hood a historical figure?
  3. 3  (of a book, film/movie, etc.) about people and events in the past a historical novel Wordfindercomic, far-fetched, gripping, historical, mannered, moving, rambling, readable, story, tragic See related entries: Describing a story
  4. Some speakers do not pronounce the ‘h’ at the beginning of historical and use ‘an’ instead of ‘a’ before it. This now sounds old-fashioned.
    Word Originlate Middle English: via Latin from Greek historikos, from historia ‘narrative, knowing by enquiry’, from histōr ‘learned, wise man’, from an Indo-European root shared by wit ‘have knowledge’.Extra examples You must place these events in their historical context. a historical novel/​setting historical documents/​records/​research
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: historical

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