ADJ. distinguished, eminent, great, leading, respected a talk given by an eminent social historian | serious No serious historian today accepts this theory. | academic, professional | amateur | official the official historian of the Labour Party | contemporary, early, future The oldest tradition goes back to the contemporary historian John Foxe. What will future historians make of the late twentieth century? | ancient, medieval, modern She is a writer as well as a distinguished modern historian. | local | family | art, church, cultural, economic, human, literary, military, political, social, etc. | revisionist Revisionist historians have questioned the accepted version of events.