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Alternative forms[edit]


From French historique



historic (comparative more historic, superlative most historic)

  1. Having importance or significance in history.
  2. Belonging to the past; historical (see note below).

Usage notes[edit]

  • Like many terms that start with a non-silent h but have emphasis on their second syllable, some people precede historic with an, others with a. The rule that "an" is used before vowel sounds is confounded by the wide variety in pronunciation (particularly regional) of the sometimes-silent h. For example, in the United States, the h generally is not silent. (See Wikipedia's article on semivowels for more details.)
  • Modern convention makes a distinction between historic and historical, although the two words are variants and have shared the same meanings for much of their history. Historic means "very important in history or having a long history", while historical refers to people who lived or events that occurred in the past, or refers to things that are connected with or found in the past. For example, a historic event is an important event of history, while a historical event is any event that happened in the past, whether important or not.
    July 4, 1776 is a historic date. A great deal of historical research has been done on the events leading up to that day.
    The historical works of Lord Macaulay and Edward Gibbon are in and of themselves historic.


Derived terms[edit]