historical

Use the adjective historical to describe something that happened in the past, like the historical details of your ancestors' immigration to the United States.

When you're talking about events in the past, you can call them historical. Civil War reenactors might work hard to research the perfect historical costumes, and set designers for period films try to recreate rooms with historical accuracy, making them look just like they would have in the past. The word historical traces back to the Greek word historia, "a learning by inquiry, history, or record."

Definitions of historical
  1. adjective
    of or relating to the study of history
    historical scholars”
    “a historical perspective”
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    Antonyms:
    ahistorical
    unconcerned with or unrelated to history or to historical development or to tradition
  2. adjective
    used of the study of a phenomenon (especially language) as it changes through time
    synonyms: diachronic
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    Antonyms:
    synchronic
    concerned with phenomena (especially language) at a particular period without considering historical antecedents
    synchronal, synchronic, synchronous
    occurring or existing at the same time or having the same period or phase
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  3. adjective
    belonging to the past; of what is important or famous in the past
    “a historical character”
    synonyms: historic
    past
    earlier than the present time; no longer current
  4. adjective
    having once lived or existed or taken place in the real world as distinct from being legendary
    “the historical Jesus”
    “actual historical events”
    Synonyms:
    existent, real
    being or occurring in fact or actuality; having verified existence; not illusory
Commonly confused words

historic / historical

Something historic has a great importance to human history. Something historical is related to the past. People with big egos get them mixed up if they say they had a historic family background. Unless they helped win a war, it was probably just historical.

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