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 (hĭ-stôr′ĭ-kəl, -stŏr′-)
a. Of or relating to history; concerned with past events: a historical account.
b. Based on past events or set in the past: a historical novel.
c. Used in or providing evidence of the past: historical costumes; historical records.
2. Concerned with phenomena as they change through time: a historical dictionary.
3. Important or famous in history. See Usage Note at historic.

his·tor′i·cal·ly adv.
his·tor′i·cal·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Historical Terms) belonging to or typical of the study of history: historical methods.
2. (Historical Terms) concerned with or treating of events of the past: historical accounts.
3. (Historical Terms) based on or constituting factual material as distinct from legend or supposition
4. (Historical Terms) based on or inspired by history: a historical novel.
5. (Historical Terms) occurring or prominent in history
6. a less common word for historic1
hisˈtorically adv
hisˈtoricalness n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(hɪˈstɔr ɪ kəl, -ˈstɒr-)

1. of, pertaining to, treating, or characteristic of history or past events: historical records.
2. based on or suggested by history or documented material from the past: a historical novel.
3. having once existed or lived, as opposed to being part of legend, fiction, or religious belief: a study of the historical Jesus.
4. narrated or mentioned in history; belonging to the past.
5. noting or pertaining to analysis based on a comparison among several periods of development of a phenomenon, as in language or economics.
his•tor′i•cal•ly, adv.
his•tor′i•cal•ness, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. 'historic'

You use historic to say that something was important in history, or that it will be regarded as important in the future.

...their historic struggle for emancipation.
...a historic decision.
2. 'historical'

You use historical to say that someone or something really existed or happened in the past, rather than being invented by a writer.

Which historical figure would be guest of honour at your house-warming party?

Historical novels, plays, and films deal with real or imaginary events in the past.

...Richard of Bordeaux, a historical play by Gordon Daviot.

Historical occurs in the names of some organizations concerned with the subject of history.

...the German Historical Institute.

However, if you want to say that something relates to the teaching of history, you use history in front of another noun. You do not use 'historic' or 'historical'.

...a history book.
...a history lesson.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012


Set in a period earlier than the present.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.historical - of or relating to the study of history; "historical scholars"; "a historical perspective"
ahistorical - unconcerned with or unrelated to history or to historical development or to tradition
2.historical - having once lived or existed or taken place in the real world as distinct from being legendary; "the historical Jesus"; "doubt that a historical Camelot every existed"; "actual historical events"
real, existent - being or occurring in fact or actuality; having verified existence; not illusory; "real objects"; "real people; not ghosts"; "a film based on real life"; "a real illness"; "real humility"; "Life is real! Life is earnest!"- Longfellow
3.historical - belonging to the past; of what is important or famous in the past; "historic victories"; "historical (or historic) times"; "a historical character"
past - earlier than the present time; no longer current; "time past"; "his youth is past"; "this past Thursday"; "the past year"
4.historical - used of the study of a phenomenon (especially language) as it changes through time; "diachronic linguistics"
language, linguistic communication - a systematic means of communicating by the use of sounds or conventional symbols; "he taught foreign languages"; "the language introduced is standard throughout the text"; "the speed with which a program can be executed depends on the language in which it is written"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
تاريخي، متعلِّق بالتاريختَارِيخِيّحقيقي من ناحية تاريخِيَّه
sögulegursögulegur, sagnfræîilegur; sannur
gerçekten yaşamıştarihitarihî
liên quan đến lịch sử


[hɪsˈtɒrɪkəl] ADJhistórico
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[hɪˈstɒrɪkəl] adj
(from the past) [figure, event, monument] → historique
(set in the past) [book, film, play] → historique
historical novel → roman m historique
(related to the study of history) [records, research] → historique
modern historical research → la recherche historique moderne
It was this kind of historical context that Morris brought to his work → C'est ce type de contexte historique que Morris intégra dans son œuvre.
from a historical perspective → d'un point de vue historique
Viewed from a historical perspective, agricultural landscapes are ever changing → D'un point de vue historique, le paysage agricole est en constante transformation.
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


adjhistorisch; studies, background, investigation, method alsogeschichtlich; historical researchGeschichtsforschung f; places of historical interesthistorisch or geschichtlich interessante Stätten pl
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[hɪsˈtɒrɪkl] adjstorico/a
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈhistəri) plural ˈhistories noun
1. the study of events etc that happened in the past. She is studying British history; (also adjective) a history lesson/book.
2. a description usually in writing of past events, ways of life etc. I'm writing a history of Scotland.
3. (the description of) the usually interesting events etc associated with (something). This desk/word has a very interesting history.
hiˈstorian (-ˈstoː-) noun
a person who studies (and writes about) history.
hiˈstoric (-ˈsto-) adjective
famous or important in history. a historic battle.
hiˈstorical (-ˈsto-) adjective
1. of or about history; of or about people or events from history. historical research; historical novels.
2. that actually happened or existed, not legendary or mythical. Was Shakespeare's character Macbeth a historical person?
hiˈstorically (-ˈsto-) adverb
make history
to do something very important, especially to be the first to do something. The Wright brothers made history when they were the first to fly an aeroplane.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


تَارِيخِيّ historický historisk historisch ιστορικός histórico historiallinen historique povijesni storico 歴史上の 역사적인 historisch historisk historyczny histórico исторический historisk ที่เกี่ยวกับประวัติศาสตร์ tarihi liên quan đến lịch sử 历史的
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
Reference was made to the historical story of Jonah and the whale in the preceding chapter.
It cannot be said that the Everhard Manuscript is an important historical document.
They merely express, in general terms, actual relations springing from an existing class struggle, from a historical movement going on under our very eyes.
Without human propensity to murder and other sorts of unrighteousness there would have been no historical heroism.
Yet the old time fairy tale, having served for generations, may now be classed as "historical" in the children's library; for the time has come for a series of newer "wonder tales" in which the stereotyped genie, dwarf and fairy are eliminated, together with all the horrible and blood-curdling incidents devised by their authors to point a fearsome moral to each tale.
There is sufficient historical truth in the picture to justify the use that has been made of it.
In seeking the laws of historical movement just the same thing happens.
I put both these princes into the first and last historical romance I ever wrote.
His 'Hard Cash' (1863), which attacks private insane asylums, is powerful; but his most important work is 'The Cloister and the Hearth' (1861), one of the most informing and vivid of all historical novels, with the father of Erasmus for its hero.
We desired to have something in a higher style, and after many debates, at length came to a unanimous resolution, of being drawn together, in one large historical familypiece.
See on this subject the Historical Essay on the Magna Charta of King John, (a most beautiful volume), by Richard Thomson.
It will differ in structure from historical compositions, which of necessity present not a single action, but a single period, and all that happened within that period to one person or to many, little connected together as the events may be.

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