history

history (n.) late 14c., "relation of incidents" (true or false), from O.Fr. estoire, estorie "chronicle, history, story" (12c., Mod.Fr. histoire), from L. historia "narrative of past events, account, tale, story," from Gk. historia "a learning or knowing by inquiry; an account of one's inquiries, history, record, narrative," from historein "inquire," from histor "wise man, judge," from PIE *wid-tor-, from root *weid- "to know," lit. "to see" (see VISION (Cf. vision)). Related to Gk. idein "to see," and to eidenai "to know." In Middle English, not differentiated from STORY (Cf. story); sense of "record of past events" probably first attested late 15c. As a branch of knowledge, from 1842. Sense of "systematic account (without reference to time) of a set of natural phenomena" (1560s) is now obsolete except in natural history.
One difference between history and imaginative literature ... is that history neither anticipates nor satisfies our curiosity, whereas literature does. [Guy Davenport, "Wheel Ruts," 1996]

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • History — His to*ry, n.; pl. {Histories}. [L. historia, Gr. istori a history, information, inquiry, fr. istwr, istwr, knowing, learned, from the root of ? to know; akin to E. wit. See {Wit}, and cf. {Story}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A learning or knowing by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • History — His to*ry, v. t. To narrate or record. [Obs.] Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • history — noun (plural ries) Etymology: Middle English histoire, historie, from Anglo French estoire, histoire, from Latin historia, from Greek, inquiry, history, from histōr, istōr knowing, learned; akin to Greek eidenai to know more at wit Date: 14th… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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