his·tor·ic (hĭ-stôrĭk, -stŏr-)
1. Having importance in or influence on history.
Usage Note: Historic and historical have similar, though usually distinct, meanings. Historic refers to that which is associated with significant events in history: the historic first voyage to the moon. Thus, a historic house is likely to be of interest not just because it is relatively old, but because an important person lived in it or was otherwise associated with it. In contrast, historical refers more generally to that which happened in the past, regardless of significance: a minor historical character in the novel, the historical architecture in the center of town. These distinctions are not always observed, however, and a historic tour of a city might include the same sights as a historical tour. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the context makes the intended meaning clear.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.