Definition of historical in English:


Syllabification: his·tor·i·cal
Pronunciation: /hiˈstôrikəl, -ˈstär-


  • 1Of or concerning history; concerning past events: the historical background to such studies
    More example sentences
    • We give a little historical background to these events in our article Babylonian mathematics.
    • Backed by a wealth of material, the book revealed in detail the historical facts concerning these events.
    • Why should it be illegal to deny the existence of a historical event we all know took place?
  • 1.1Belonging to the past, not the present: famous historical figures
    More example sentences
    • Our cast list expanded to include historical figures remembering the distant rather than the recent past.
    • Belief in a religion is belief in an idea and in particular historical figures whether Muhammad, Christ or Joseph Smith.
    • Years ago, authors used to take their time about writing about historical figures.
    past, bygone, ancient, old, former
    literary of yore
  • 1.2(Especially of a novel or movie) set in the past.
    More example sentences
    • His use of novels and historical narrative were essential to his reinvention of the Tory party.
    • The festival will open with the historical film Vercingetorix, which was shot in Bulgaria.
    • Priceless historical film rescued from a Blackburn rubbish skip will go on show to the public for the first time this week.
  • 1.3(Of the study of a subject) based on an analysis of its development over a period: for the Darwinians, biogeography became a historical science
    More example sentences
    • Martha Treadway might seem at first to be an unlikely subject for historical study.
    • They celebrated historical studies of science as ways of explaining the heroic progress of science towards truth.
    • It is common practice in historical studies of the philosophy of science to contrast the views of Mill and Whewell.
    documented, recorded, chronicled, archival; authentic, factual, actual, true


late Middle English: via Latin from Greek historikos (see historic).


1 On the difference between historical and historic, see historic (usage). 2 On the use of an historical event or a historical event , see an.

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