Definition of historic in English:

historic

adjective

  • 1Famous or important in history, or potentially so.

    ‘the area's numerous historic sites’
    ‘a historic occasion’
    • ‘Tourism in Kerala thrives not thanks to any sites of religious or historic significance.’
    • ‘Luxor in Egypt is renowned for its great historic sites but now a special school is making its own bit of history.’
    • ‘Two of Pembroke Dock's most important historic buildings are being given a major facelift.’
    • ‘They had greatly enjoyed the trip and it was a historic and important occasion, he said.’
    • ‘There are many pubs and churches and sites of great historic importance.’
    • ‘Roman coins and blue glass beads have been found among the remains of buildings at the Groundwell Ridge historic site.’
    • ‘Instead, he argued that it was important to win a historic third term.’
    • ‘It is important that the historic perspective to the issue be explored openly.’
    • ‘Those buildings have been there since the 18th century and have historic importance.’
    • ‘Many of these important historic racing cars are driven by famous faces from motor sport past and present.’
    • ‘Many demonstrators will don medieval dress to highlight the historic importance of the earmarked site.’
    • ‘Mr Ahern said it was a challenging and important post at a historic point in the union's development.’
    • ‘Not many places can boast being both a centre of historic importance and outstanding natural beauty.’
    • ‘Many of Italy's most famous museums and historic sites will in future be run by private companies.’
    • ‘But he argues that equally important is a historic sense of inferiority in the Muslim world.’
    • ‘It was worth it, as it is one of the most beautiful and important historic Khmer sites in Thailand.’
    • ‘For 2,532 years these historic sites have held importance in the mind of the Buddhists.’
    • ‘The local community is campaigning for a museum to commemorate the district as the historic birthplace of the famous car.’
    • ‘It is a truly historic occasion - a moment of passing in the corporate family.’
    • ‘If Beijing can fulfil such targets, it should be a memorable and historic occasion.’
    famous, famed, important, significant, notable, celebrated, renowned, momentous, headline, consequential, outstanding, extraordinary, memorable, unforgettable, remarkable, landmark, groundbreaking, epoch-making, red-letter, of importance, of significance, of consequence, earth-shaking, earth-shattering
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    1. 1.1archaic Of or concerning history; of the past.
      ‘eruptions in historic times’
      • ‘The second issue that has caused concern is the definition of historic heritage.’
      • ‘I read with interest the recent article concerning the destruction of historic houses and homes.’
      old style, former, past, bygone, heritage, antique, antiquarian, early, classical, traditional, folk, old-world, ancestral, time-honoured, ancient, veteran, vintage, quaint
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  • 2Grammar
    (of a tense) used in the narration of past events, especially Latin and Greek imperfect and pluperfect.

Usage

Historic and historical are used in slightly different ways. Historic means ‘famous or important in history’, as in a historic occasion, whereas historical means ‘concerning history or historical events’, as in historical evidence: thus a historic event is one that was very important, whereas a historical event is something that happened in the past. On the use of an historic moment or a historic moment, see an.

Origin

Early 17th century (in the sense ‘relating to or in accordance with history’): via Latin from Greek historikos, from historia ‘narrative, knowing by enquiry’ (see history).

Pronunciation

historic

/hɪˈstɒrɪk/