Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or relating to the character of history.
  • adj. Based on or concerned with events in history.
  • adj. Used in the past: historical costumes; historical weapons.
  • adj. Important or famous in history. See Usage Note at historic.
  • adj. Diachronic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • In biology, ancestral or inherited, or due to conditions which existed in the past history of an organism.

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

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

Etymologies

From historic +‎ -al. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I doubt whether the epithet _historical_ can properly apply to the character of Lady Macbeth; for though the subject of the play be taken from history, we never think of her with any reference to historical associations, as we do with regard to Constance, Volumnia, Katherine of

    Characteristics of Women Moral, Poetical, and Historical

  • 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.

    Jasper Fforde discusses Shades of Grey, the first in a trilogy set in a future world recognizable as our own - but only just

  • 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.

    Joshua Stanton: 'History Centrism': A Challenge To Abrahamic Faiths

  • 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.

    Moving the Capital

  • 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.

    CNN Transcript Sep 8, 2006

  • African countries, decrying what they described as historical injustice, on Monday made a strong plea for world support for their moves to get two veto-wielding permanent seats on the UN Security

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • 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.

    An Exchange on the Russian Revolution

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

    FIDEL DISCUSSES PROGRESS OF SUGAR HARVEST

  • 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.

    HISTORIOGRAPHY

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

    Short Stories of Various Types

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