Definition of historiated in US English:



  • (of an initial letter in an illuminated manuscript) decorated with designs representing scenes from the text.

    • ‘Numerous panels and illuminated miniatures or historiated initials survive and frequently appear on the art market.’
    • ‘The fifth historiated capital is of a very different type.’
    • ‘These, too, were the work of several artists working simultaneously on numbers of quires on details such as historiated initials.’
    • ‘Interestingly in this context, a dove with a crown in his beak hovers right outside the opening and well-known historiated initial of Book I of Juliana's vita.’


Late 19th century: from French historié, past participle of historier in an obsolete sense ‘illustrate’, from medieval Latin historiare, from historia (see history).