Pronunciation: (his'tu-rē, his'trē), [key]
1. the branch of knowledge dealing with past events.
2. a continuous, systematic narrative of past events as relating to a particular people, country, period, person, etc., usually written as a chronological account; chronicle: a history of France; a medical history of the patient.
3. the aggregate of past events.
4. the record of past events and times, esp. in connection with the human race.
5. a past notable for its important, unusual, or interesting events: a ship with a history.
6. acts, ideas, or events that will or can shape the course of the future; immediate but significant happenings: Firsthand observers of our space program see history in the making.
7. a systematic account of any set of natural phenomena without particular reference to time: a history of the American eagle.
8. a drama representing historical events: Shakespeare's comedies, histories, and tragedies.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.