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[hi-stawr-ik, -stor-] /hɪˈstɔr ɪk, -ˈstɒr-/
well-known or important in history:
a historic building; historic occasions.
historical (defs 1–5).
Origin of historic
1605-15; < Latin historicus < Greek historikós historical, scientific, equivalent to histor(ía) inquiry (see history) + -ikos -ic
Related forms
nonhistoric, adjective
pseudohistoric, adjective
quasi-historic, adjective
semihistoric, adjective
superhistoric, adjective
unhistoric, adjective
Can be confused
historic, historical, hysterical.
1. notable, renowned, famous, famed, memorable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for historic
  • Universities remain virtually free, but change may be coming to their historic halls.
  • Relish it or revile it, everyone agrees that the bill is historic.
  • The character of an eruption is based on the prehistoric and historic record of the volcano in question and its volcanic products.
  • It took him years of legal battling and lobbying to get permission to destroy the historic building.
  • Two years after making historic gains in a general election, the opposition is going through a bit of a wobble.
  • historic record indicates every extinction was followed by more advanced species replacing the ones lost.
  • Check for all historic versions and variations of your company's name.
  • According to some points of view, the fate of one of the country's finest historic cities is now at stake.
  • No wonder inflation is ticking up across the region, albeit from historic lows in several countries.
  • Survey the preserve's pristine scenery and learn how this historic conservation project was created.
British Dictionary definitions for historic


famous or likely to become famous in history; significant
a less common word for historical (sense 1), historical (sense 2), historical (sense 3), historical (sense 4), historical (sense 5)
(linguistics) Also secondary. (of Latin, Greek, or Sanskrit verb tenses) referring to past time
Usage note
A distinction is usually made between historic (important, significant) and historical (pertaining to history): a historic decision; a historical perspective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for historic

1660s, probably a back-formation from historical, perhaps influenced by French historique. What is historic is noted or celebrated in history; what is historical deals with history.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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