Definition of historic in English:



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

    ‘we are standing on a historic site’
    ‘a time of historic change’
    • ‘Many of these important historic racing cars are driven by famous faces from motor sport past and present.’
    • ‘The local community is campaigning for a museum to commemorate the district as the historic birthplace of the famous car.’
    • ‘Instead, he argued that it was important to win a historic third term.’
    • ‘Roman coins and blue glass beads have been found among the remains of buildings at the Groundwell Ridge historic site.’
    • ‘It was worth it, as it is one of the most beautiful and important historic Khmer sites in Thailand.’
    • ‘Those buildings have been there since the 18th century and have historic importance.’
    • ‘But he argues that equally important is a historic sense of inferiority in the Muslim world.’
    • ‘It is important that the historic perspective to the issue be explored openly.’
    • ‘They had greatly enjoyed the trip and it was a historic and important occasion, he said.’
    • ‘For 2,532 years these historic sites have held importance in the mind of the Buddhists.’
    • ‘It is a truly historic occasion - a moment of passing in the corporate family.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Luxor in Egypt is renowned for its great historic sites but now a special school is making its own bit of history.’
    • ‘Many demonstrators will don medieval dress to highlight the historic importance of the earmarked site.’
    • ‘Tourism in Kerala thrives not thanks to any sites of religious or historic significance.’
    • ‘Two of Pembroke Dock's most important historic buildings are being given a major facelift.’
    • ‘Mr Ahern said it was a challenging and important post at a historic point in the union's development.’
    • ‘If Beijing can fulfil such targets, it should be a memorable and historic occasion.’
    • ‘There are many pubs and churches and sites of great historic importance.’
    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’
      • ‘I read with interest the recent article concerning the destruction of historic houses and homes.’
      • ‘The second issue that has caused concern is the definition of historic heritage.’
      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.


1 On the use of an historic moment or a historic moment, see an. 2 In general, historic means ‘notable in history, significant in history,’ as in a Supreme Court decision, a battlefield, or a great discovery. Historical means ‘relating to history or past events’: (historical society; historical documents). To write historic instead of historical may imply a greater significance than is warranted: a historical lecture may simply tell about something that happened, whereas a historic lecture would in some way change the course of human events. It would be correct to say, Professor Suarez's historical lecture on the Old Southwest was given at the historic mission church


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