from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of or relating to history; concerned with past events.
  • adjective Based on past events or set in the past.
  • adjective Used in or providing evidence of the past.
  • adjective Concerned with phenomena as they change through time.
  • adjective Important or famous in history.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In biology, ancestral or inherited, or due to conditions which existed in the past history of an organism.
  • Of, pertaining to, or connected with history; containing or of the nature or character of history: as, a historical poem; historical evidence; a historical chart.
  • Narrated or mentioned in history; belonging to the past, and mentioned or used at present only with reference to the past.
  • In philosophy, pertaining to things learned from the testimony of others or by our own senses.
  • In grammar, used in statement of past facts or narration of past events: as, a historical tense.
  • In hydrodynamics, the Lagrangian method, which considers the path of each particle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Pertaining to the history, to what happened in the past.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective belonging to the past; of what is important or famous in the past
  • adjective used of the study of a phenomenon (especially language) as it changes through time
  • adjective having once lived or existed or taken place in the real world as distinct from being legendary
  • adjective of or relating to the study of history


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From historic +‎ -al.


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  • My particular interest in the historical is about how global events that affect millions of lives can turn on such small and sometimes whimsical decisions - butterflies wings and tornadoes, really.

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  • Due to the significant emphasis on prophetic history, religious groups can become what he terms "historical societies" -- preserving, codifying and interpreting the religious histories of their founders.

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  • The groups argued that it was very important for the two government agencies to be relocated to in Tainan, which they called the historical home of Taiwan's culture, in order to preserve the nation's unique culture and traditions.

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  • We were always seconds ago told of another letter from former Clinton aide Bruce Lindsay and Mr. Clinton's attorney Douglas Band (ph) to Robert Iger of the Disney Corporation also asking for the airing of this movie to be cancelled because of what they call historical inaccuracies.

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  • In Leonard Schapiro's review-article, "Two Years that Shook the World," he showed a concern for what he called historical "objectivity," but I question his own.

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  • This graph shows what we call the historical yield curve.


  • A further anomaly may throw light on the mentality of men who would be attached to the truth but without the modern feeling for what we call historical evidence.


  • Harrison an excuse for insisting on weekly repetitions of what he called their historical picnics.

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