1. <operating system> A record of previous user inputs (e.g. to a command interpreter) which can be re-entered without re-typing them. The major improvement of the C shell (csh) over the Bourne shell (sh) was the addition of a command history. This was still inferior to the history mechanism on VMS which allowed you to recall previous commands as the current input line. You could then edit the command using cursor motion, insert and delete. These sort of history editing facilities are available under tcsh and GNU Emacs.

2. <history> The history of computing.

3. See Usenet newsgroups soc.history and alt.history for discussion of the history of the world.

(01 Mar 1995)

Origin: L.historia, Gr. 'istoria history, information, inquiry, fr. 'istwr, "istwr, knowing, learned, from the root of to know; akin to E. Wit. See Wit, and cf. Story.

1. A learning or knowing by inquiry; the knowledge of facts and events, so obtained; hence, a formal statement of such information; a narrative; a description; a written record; as, the history of a patient's case; the history of a legislative bill.

2. A systematic, written account of events, particularly of those affecting a nation, institution, science, or art, and usually connected with a philosophical explanation of their causes; a true story, as distinguished from a romance; distinguished also from annals, which relate simply the facts and events of each year, in strict chronological order; from biography, which is the record of an individual's life; and from memoir, which is history composed from personal experience, observation, and memory. "Histories are as perfect as the historian is wise, and is gifted with an eye and a soul." (Carlyle) "For aught that I could ever read, Could ever hear by tale or history." (Shak) "What histories of toil could I declare!" (Pope) History piece, a representation in painting, drawing, etc, of any real event, including the actors and the action. Natural history, a description and classification of objects in nature, as minerals, plants, animals, etc, and the phenomena which they exhibit to the senses.

Synonyms: Chronicle, annals, relation, narration.

History, Chronicle, Annals. History is a methodical record of important events which concern a community of men, usually so arranged as to show the connection of causes and effects, to give an analysis of motive and action etc. A chronicle is a record of such events, conforming to the order of time as its distinctive feature. Annals are a chronicle divided up into separate years. By poetic license annals is sometimes used for history. "Justly Caesar scorns the poet's lays; It is to history he trusts for praise." (Pope) "No more yet of this; For 't is a chronicle of day by day, Not a relation for a breakfast." (Shak) "Many glorious examples in the annals of our religion." (Rogers)

(01 Mar 1998)