Definition of history noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈhɪstri//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈhɪstri//
    (pl. histories) Subjects and courses
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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.
  2. 2  [singular, uncountable] the past events concerned in the development of a particular place, subject, etc. the history of Ireland/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 at school or university a history teacher a degree in History social/economic/political history ancient/medieval/modern history She's studying art history. see also natural history See related entries: Subjects and courses
  4. 4  [countable] a written or spoken account of past events She's writing a new history of Europe. She went on to catalogue 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 somebody’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 see also case history, life history
  6. Word Originlate Middle English (also as a verb): via Latin from Greek historia ‘finding out, narrative, history’, from histōr ‘learned, wise man’, from an Indo-European root shared by wit ‘have knowledge’.Extra examples He will go down in history as a wise adviser and a kind man. History shows that New Zealand are almost unbeatable by British teams on their own turf. History shows that high approval ratings are no guarantee of re-election. I know nothing about his personal history. Oral history enables us to take account of those many aspects of history that are not recorded in documents. She created a piece of history by winning her fourth title. She familiarized herself with the case history of her new patient. She has a long history of mental illness. She studies history of art. The city has a rich and colourful history. The country has suffered several invasions during its history. The debate about the origins of the universe has been going on throughout recorded history. The doctor will need some details of your medical history. The history of this organization goes back many years. The regiment traces its history back to 1803. The team grabbed a slice of history here today. The town’s history goes back to Roman times. The war has now faded into history. There have been conflicts such as this throughout history. They had an affair once, but that’s past history now. They have a history of trying to interfere. This is a fascinating period of history. Years later, family history repeated itself with Eve’s daughters. a building that is steeped in history a history of heart disease in the family a people with no sense of history events that could change the course of history her attempt to rewrite history with herself in the role of heroine the best player in the sport’s history the early history of the trade union movement the history of the world the most extraordinary meeting in history the official history of the Labour Party things that happened in recent history It was one of the worst disasters in recent history. Neil Armstrong made history by being the first man to walk on the moon. She’s writing a new history of Europe. The area has a history of subsidence problems. The battle was a turning point in human history.Idioms (informal) 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 record of great achievements in history She has earned her place in the history books. 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
    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 American Dictionary entry: history