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Definition of chronological

Example sentences.

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chronological.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

chonological from chronologic + -al entry 1 or from chronology + -ical ; chronologic from chronology + -ic entry 1 , probably after French chronologique or New Latin chronologicus

1614, in the meaning defined above

Phrases Containing chronological

chronological age

Dictionary Entries Near chronological


Cite this Entry

“Chronological.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chronological. Accessed 29 May. 2023.

Kids Definition

Kids definition of chronological, more from merriam-webster on chronological.

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Britannica English: Translation of chronological for Arabic Speakers

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Chronological timeline meaning

What is A Timeline - Explain with Examples

A timeline is an essential tool to illustrate the chronology of events or activities. We use timelines for research, studies and event planning. Timelines make it easier for students to understand the historical events related to any subject in an orderly manner. It helps researchers keep track of the time interval between various experiments and discoveries. You can learn anything you want to know about timelines from here. Don't forget to check out the examples down here to understand the types and uses of a timeline.

What is a Timeline?

Timeline is the alignment of time, a chronological statement, to define a certain chain of events or activities that happened at a particular phase. In a visual context, it is a representation of the data, defined through lists, tables or graphics, where its all jotted down, sequenced in the same chronological order.

Like a flowchart, it helps users identify specific patterns in a scheme or course of procedure with a streamlined format, concisely depicting different temporal relations. It is simple to look at, handy to work with and easier to manage and remember. You can also find more timeline examples here.

what is timeline

Purposes of Using a Timeline

Time is a pivotal record. But it is also hard to keep track of when multiple things are happening simultaneously and in the long run. So the purpose of a Timeline is to put it all in order with a figurative visualization of the process, highlighting key elements without much elaboration.

Scholars and teachers widely use this sort of content, for knowledge sharing, since these are much more interactive and attractive than textbook content. As for enterprises, they mainly use such data to track the progress of a project or plan based on it. Let us explore the variations of timelines.

Different Types of Timelines

There are various types of timelines that you can use for many things. You can plan your wedding ceremony or describe some specific event at the given point in time. You can also use it to understand someone's history or create a new marketing plan. Each timeline follows a different format, and if you want to create a timeline, you have to check out its various examples down here and find a suitable design.

Baby Growth Timeline

The chronology timeline is considered as the most common-seen timeline. It visualizes events in chronological order. Normally, the timeline starts with the earliest date and ends up with the latest date arranged on the X-axis from left to right. You can easily find chronology timelines in history books and it is very effective to use this type of diagram to tell a historical event.

Gantt Chart Timeline

Gantt Charts are used for managing projects, putting all aligning factors like project schedule, progress report, workflow, and client into a singular spreadsheet-like template. This document is meant to be shared with all team members, making the plans and goals clear for everyone. These charts can be complex-looking, given the factors it covers and how big the project is. They are usually created on horizontal bar charts with some kind of progress indicator, together with the latest update at the bottom of the page.

Interactive Timeline

Source: www.bbvaopenmind.com

The two types of times that are introduced above belong to a static timeline. On the contrary, the interactive timeline is a dynamic timeline, which you can feel free to scroll, zoom in, zoom out or change the data in real-time. If you have large amounts of data or this event lasts for a long period, a scrollable, interactive timeline will be your best choice.

Horizontal Timeline

A horizontal timeline or a line plot visually represents the events that occurred horizontally in the given date and time. A line moving from left to right represents the time period. We use pointers to add text to relate the given activity to a specific point in time. This timeline is best for presentations as it makes your report eye-catching. It is sometimes hard to understand a horizontal timeline as you can't add much text due to a lack of available space.

Vertical Timeline

A vertical timeline is the most used timeline for reports and research. Using this one is your best option when you have lots of text to add to the timeline. A straight vertical line represents the given time period. You can label the timeline by adding text on both left and right sides. You can even write long sentences to explain your research better. It makes everything easy to understand if you are working with a complicated timeline.

Roadmap Timeline

A roadmap timeline is beneficial in project management. It divides the timeline into various sections to represent the project's tasks in an orderly manner based on when the team will start working and which job takes priority. It gives the general idea of time spent on completing each task to finalize the project in time. The reader can easily understand it and work accordingly to do the project quickly.

Biographical Timeline

A biographical timeline is the best tool to illustrate the history of a person and represent various events based on the given time period. We use this timeline to improve our understanding of a person. Students can quickly learn the history of someone and the critical events in that person's life with the biographical timeline. Human resources also use it to find the right person for the job. These timelines help a lot if you are preparing someone’s biography.

Biological Timeline

The biological timeline describes the important events related to the science subject in history from 1600 to the current year. It is mainly used in the study field where students can learn about the biological history of the earth and all science-related events efficiently and creatively. It is hard to create a biological timeline covering the entire history for several hundred years. That is why most of these timelines only contain a specific time interval or classification of events based on the subject.

Company Background Timeline

A company background timeline is a helpful chart that illustrates the eventful history of a company or a business in a creative way. Making a timeline gets complicated and sometimes dull, but with a company background timeline, you can use creative ways to represent the company's history. It is also used for the start-up of any business when it is essential to complete each task in the given time and plan the next step.

Event Timeline

An event timeline helps you out with event planning. It lists all the tasks and activities to complete before the event, and it tells you when the event takes place and the aftermath of the event. If you are planning an event and are stuck because you can't figure out the perfect order for completing all tasks, then having an event timeline will save you a lot of trouble. It makes your job easy by helping you keep track of what you have already done and what remains.

Career Timeline

A career timeline is an excellent tool to plan out each step of your career. If you like future planning and to have a successful career, then make sure to create a career timeline that describes the six phases of your life as a professional. You can start by listing your college studies and list your graduation and various training programs for the job you want. Make a roadmap and list your promotions and various events till you retire. Having a plan is always better than making random choices and taking risks.

Wedding Timeline

When planning out a wedding, making a wedding timeline will make it easy for you to organize all the small events and tasks and help you go over your wedding plan. A wedding timeline usually starts with picking the weekend for the wedding, and each event is part of the timeline, from finding the venue to starting the rehearsal dinner. Mark the wedding ceremony the next day and the brunch. It also helps you figure out what the guests will be doing and when the dance will begin.

Reception Timeline

A reception timeline describes each event that will be part of a wedding reception. At the start of the timeline, you can mark the arrival of guests and the cocktail hour. After the cocktail hour ends, you can mark the dinner invitation. After a few minutes, the couple enters, and the welcome toast starts. You can list the time for parent’s dances and the end of the reception at the end.

Marketing Timeline

A marketing timeline helps you create a perfect marketing plan and keep track of the strategies you have already used and your completed goals. With marketing time, you can plan each step and element of your marketing strategy. It gives you a precise schedule to follow and describe your objectives in chronological order. You can even mark the successful marketing plans and the ones that gave you the least output. You can use a roadmap or a Gantt chart to create a marketing timeline.

Ceremony Timeline

A ceremony timeline helps you figure out each step of your wedding day in a chronology. You can use the traditional wedding ceremony format if you don't have anything special planned for the big day. You can start with preparing the processional and the arrival of the groom and bride. The next is to welcome all the guests and begin reading the vows. The ceremony ends with the couple being pronounced husband and wife.

Family Timeline

A family timeline visually represents the important events related to your closely related family members. You can create a family timeline by listing all of your family members or using a family tree. Add some details about the history of your family members, such as their jobs and their achievements. Start adding your info, like the big moments in your life and your career. You can also use photos in the family timeline to mark the event you want to remember forever.

Movie Timeline

There are many movies with sequels and prequels taking place at different times compared to the original story. With a movie timeline, you can list each part of the movie based on the actual chronology or the release of each piece. It will help the reader better understand the movie's main plot and storyline. Movie timelines are essential when the production makes the prequels after the main story.

Construction Timeline

Being a construction manager, you have to make lots of important decisions and figure out the ideal chronology to plan each step of construction. The best way to plan a remodelling or construction of a house or a building is to divide tasks and give each task a deadline. This way, the workers will know when to complete each task, and the construction will carry out as planned and finish in the given time.

Graphical Timeline

A graphical timeline illustrates the chronological order of events or tasks over a given period in time. You can do lots of things with a timeline. It helps you figure out the ideal time period for an event. You can use it to depict historical events and explain the biography of historical figures. A graphical timeline uses the format of a Gantt chart or a bar chart. Each bar separates into a smaller section of various colours to represent different tasks and elements.

Website Timeline

A website timeline come in handy when creating a website. It describes each step and task part of the website project management. It gives the developer a general idea of the amount of time needed to complete each task based on its complexity. There is various small task in each listed task of the timeline. When everything is complete, the website enters the testing phase before it goes to the user.

How do Timelines Visualize Data: Learn from Timeline Examples

Need some inspiration for your visualization project? Take a cue from some of our selected templates and examples!

American History Timeline

Historical timelines, like the one above, revolve around events and their dates. They can be about war records, ancient civilizations, royal families, biographies and so on. Sometimes, you can add citations, notes, and other associated information according to your needs. Usually, these charts look simplistic, like an orderly list. While students find it difficult to remember the dates of historical events on history books, they can turn to a timeline like this for help, because it creates a greater impact on dates and events. These are widely used by teachers as study material or be a project of actual historians. In many ways, this type of template is highly speculated at various stages of academia, whether junior school level or higher studies.

Software Version Timeline

The software goes through the constant integration process, and the different versions are tracked in a versions timeline. This content generally uses a vertical, cascading layout, with colored bars used to indicate the status and other details about particular versions concisely. However, it can also be done on an interactive template. The latest update may be at the top of the page or bottom, as per the creator’s choice.

Chinese Festival Timeline

This is a custom template, which has been made into a timeline about Chinese Festivals, public holidays and occasions, including Women’s Day. This can be ideal for putting up on Office Bulletin Board or shared in an open platform. Take a pointer, if you have a cluster of dates to showcase, either festival or showtimes, or time tables, a minimalistic and pastel color-coded visualization like this is a grand idea.

Horizontal Tree Growth Timeline

A new project. A non-profit venture. Or just a startup business. If you are aiming for growth, Make A Statement! You don’t need too much content, don’t need too many graphical elements. Keep it simple and powerful.

a Big Project Timeline

Track the multifaceted courses of your project. Take a cue from this old project version history of EdrawMax. Start from scratch and work your way to the top by consistently adding new data. Keep it as clean as possible.

How to Create an Eye-catching Timeline with EdrawMax?

Are you ready to start working on your project? Let us read about this simple step-by-step guide.

Here you can find detailed steps of how to create a timeline.

Related Articles

download EdrawMax

I. What is Chronology?

Chronology is the arrangement of events by time. In literature, most authors write their story as a sequence of events—when you use this method, arranging events in the order in which they occurred in time, it’s called putting them in “chronological order.” Sticking with a chronological timeline is the easiest way for audiences to follow what happens and is generally the best way to show cause and effect. But, some authors may be more risky with a story’s chronology, sharing events out of order—for example, they may start the story at the end and work backwards, jump back and forth in time, and so on!

Specifically, chronology is the science of ordering of events by time, is closely related to timekeeping itself, and is important across almost every discipline of study. In literature and writing, a chronology means a timeline of events or a history; for example, A Chronology of  Candle-making would give a timeline of candle-making’s history from its first appearance up until today. You can find chronologies of just about everything! Its study dates back to ancient times and is obviously still incredibly important today!

II. Example of Chronology

The clearest and simplest way to show chronology is with a timeline. For instance, a chronology of your day would start when you wake up, and end when you go to bed. Here is an example:

As you can see, this timeline shares the events of the day in chronological order. It is easy to follow since it relays things exactly in the order that they happened.

III. Types of Chronology

Chronology is pretty straightforward because it relies completely on time. So, there aren’t any real “types” of chronology, but it can be shared in different ways and narrative styles .

a. Linear Narrative (Normal Chronology)

The linear (i.e. in a line) telling of a story as a sequence of events as they happened in time.

b. Reverse Chronology

The telling of a story from the end to the beginning, sharing events in the reverse order from which they occurred in time.

c. Nonlinear Narrative

The nonlinear (i.e. not in line) telling of a story as a series of separate events told out of chronological order

IV. Importance of Chronology

The importance of chronology across all aspects of life is immeasurable, and literature is no different! How else would we readers ever know how and when things happened, and how could we understand a story’s chain of cause and effect? When events are shared out of order and without a context for time, it is very difficult to see their significance, or to even understand what happened.

For instance, imagine you are telling a story about a nerdy, not very athletic boy who becomes the star player on his school’s baseball team. If you started your story showing him as a kid being bad at baseball, but then suddenly he is on a team hitting home runs, the audience wouldn’t understand how it happened. Instead, you should show the transition he makes over time, perhaps with a montage like this:

By exhibiting how he improves and changes over time, you can show the audience just how the young player became so great. By portraying the player’s path from start to finish, you show cause and effect—in this case, you’d be supporting the idea of “practice makes perfect.” So, as you can see, without chronology, telling this story would be quite difficult!

I would love to see an example of this, or a little more elaboration on how difficult it is to understand an effect when you don’t know the cause. Perhaps cause and effect can be broken down a little further (in regards to storylines) – for example chronology shows us the reasons behind character motives, circumstances, or helps us understand a setting (historical, present, or futuristic) and the actions or events that are relevant. Also, perhaps we can see an example where the story line is out of order and therefore confusing (until the chronology is revealed that is)? It may have to be a 2-part example to show the confusing part and then the actual explanation.

V. Examples of Chronology in Popular Culture

In the family film UP, chronology helps us learn a lot about the protagonist Carl. The movie opens with a montage of his life with his true love Ellie. It begins when they are young and first get married, showing all of the trials and tribulations that keep them from going on the adventure they always dreamed of:

Chronological timeline meaning

At the end of the montage, we are sad to learn that Ellie died before they ever got to go on their great adventure together. We now know that losing Ellie was the cause of his loneliness, and his grumpy demeanor is the effect. This chronological story of their time paints a beautiful picture for us, and really helps us understand who Carl is. If we didn’t get this timeline, it would be hard to see why Carl is the way he is, or to know why he wants to head to Paradise Falls with his house full of memories.

The film Memento is well known for its unique, complicated way of sharing the chronology of the main character Lenny’s life. Rather than start from the beginning, as most stories do, Memento “begins” at the end and works its way backwards through the events that led to his situation. But, Lenny suffers from short term memory loss, and his memory resets every few minutes. Here is the opening scene:

memento opening

The film begins with the moments that follow a murder, shown in reverse, and will work backwards from here. Memento’s use of reverse chronology leaves the audience in a constant state of confusion, like Lenny himself. Even when we think we know what is going on in one scene, the scene that follows often tells us otherwise as it works backwards in time.

VI. Examples of Chronology in Literature

In the fiction series Diary of a Wimpy Kid , everything the audience knows is from what they read in the diary of middle schooler Greg. The diary starts at the beginning of the school year, and Greg makes an entry every day. Here are a few lines from a couple of different diary entries:

Monday I guess Mom was pretty proud of herself for making me write in that journal last year, because now she went out and bought me another one. But remember how I said if some jerk caught me carrying a book with “diary” on the cover they were gonna get the wrong idea? Well, that’s exactly what happened today. Tuesday When I got to school today, everybody was acting all strange around me, and at first I didn’t know WHAT was up. Then I remembered: I still had the Cheese Touch from last year.

Greg’s diary is a chronology of his life. It is a timeline of everything that happens to him day by day, and he tells us about past events, too. With each new book in the series you get to witness the details of his life as they happen, in chronological order, and learn more about his past through the memories he records.

Sometimes authors write things out in an actual timeline, similar to a diary. In author Mary Ruefle’s short piece of creative nonfiction called “My Search Amongst the Birds,” she records her thoughts over several months, creating a chronology of her experience feeding the birds at her home. Here’s a selection of the work:

(later) I saw a bird in the bushes near Dairy Queen. It looked thin to me.

(later) They ARE acting—the wrens don’t like the new seed, they are ignoring it! Do they KNOW how much work it took to lug that bag up the stairs?

VII. Related terms

A flashback is when a story temporarily jumps backward to a previous moment in the past. It’s used to give the audience insight about characters or other relevant details in a story without having to disrupt the normal flow of events in chronological order.

A flash-forward is just like a flashback, but going forward—the story temporarily jumps to a specific moment in the future. Like a flashback, it doesn’t disrupt the way the story is being told, but still lets writers give a peak at what will happen later.

VIII. Conclusion

It’s easy to see why chronology is such a major part of literature—just about everything we understand relies on time, and that includes storytelling and writing across all genres . In writing, establishing a chronology for your topic or story is a great starting point, and a crucial part of the big picture!

List of Terms

Chronological timeline meaning

Historical chronology: what you need to know

Clocks time chronology

The very first step in grasping History is to understand chronology.

Chronology in history refers to the arrangement of events in the order in which they occurred. It is the study of how time is organised and divided in relation to historical events.

The goal of chronology in history is to place events in their proper order, so that they can be studied and understood in their historical context. 

There are several rules that have been developed over time to achieve this and they are outlined below. The terms and concepts outlined here can be used in your own historical writing to improve your academic vocabulary.

How time is ordered in history

BCE (Before Common Era) = BC

CE (Common Era) = AD

Watch a video explanation on the History Skills YouTube channel:

Chronological timeline meaning

If there isn’t a ‘BC’ or ‘AD’ next to a date, it is probably AD

Before the birth of Christ, the number of years counts down, but after that, the years count upwards

There is no year ‘0’: the year 1 BC is followed immediately by AD 1

‘BP’ after a number stands for ‘Before the Present’

‘Circa’ means ‘around about’ and is a small ‘c.’ before the year. For example: c. 50 BC

How time is divided

Since human history has occurred over tens of thousands of years, historians have had to develop a system to help them talk about large sections of time easily.

As a result, names are given to groups of years. The groups and their names are as follows:

Century              = 100 years

Millennium       = 1000 years

Chronological timeline meaning

Therefore, time can be split into centuries or millennia, as is demonstrated below:

Historical timeline software

Historical periods

To make sense of the past, it is divided into even larger blocks of time called ‘periods’. Each of these ‘periods’ can be broken down further into smaller times called ‘ages’ and even into smaller times called ‘eras’.

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Meaning of timeline in English

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chronological order


Why is it important to tell stories in chronological order.

Yes, there is importance to telling stories in "the arrangement of things following one after another in time." Without chronological order there'd be no fairy princesses and no joyful endings...

Origin of chronological order

Words nearby chronological order, how to use chronological order in a sentence.

After that particular block is filled with data, it is “chained” onto the previous block, which keeps the data in chronological order , with each block being timestamped upon being added to the chain.

From the Mailboxes screen in the Mail app itself, you can tap All Inboxes to see all your messages rolled together in chronological order , or tap a specific account name to manage messages from that account alone.

It’s also worth noting that Airbnb reviews often do not appear in chronological order , so it’s important to scroll through all of them to make sure you’re finding the most recent testimony, says Couch-Friedman.

Instead, platforms like Facebook would have incentives to implement a non-algorithmic feed, such as something in chronological order or a system where users have more control over the content they see.

The default mode for viewing reviews is in chronological order , from newest to oldest, which means a spam attack places fake reviews up top, making the most recent reviews that much more influential if you’re the victim of a concerted campaign.

Here are the biggest reveals in the court documents, in chronological order .

Like Moby-Dick, River Bend Chronicle mixes together narrative and essays, not always in chronological order .

In chronological order : When the story of Henrietta Lacks was “ripped” for an episode of Law and Order.

Instead, I bring you ten fun and exciting Dick Morris audios, images, videos (in chronological order ).

These do not appear in chronological order , but jump around from 1948 to 2006 to 1971, from Moscow to Boston to Friedburg.

Below, however, I have recorded in chronological order the more important references to them which have come under my observation.

Arranged in chronological order they give some idea of the rate of growth of the empire.

They knew that his silence meant that he was only marshaling the events in their chronological order .

I only wish I could trust my memory to place these in their proper chronological order .

The account of them will be given in their chronological order .


  1. American History Timeline

    Chronological timeline meaning

  2. Click on the image to view the high definition version. Create

    Chronological timeline meaning

  3. What are timelines? What are some examples?

    Chronological timeline meaning


    Chronological timeline meaning

  5. Timeline from 2002-2010 of popular social media platforms in 2020

    Chronological timeline meaning

  6. What are timelines? What are some examples?

    Chronological timeline meaning


  1. Timeline

  2. Timeline Period 4

  3. A Chronological Timeline Of Israel's History


  1. Chronology Definition & Meaning

    chronology: [noun] the science that deals with measuring time by regular divisions and that assigns to events their proper dates.

  2. Chronology

    chronology, any method used to order time and to place events in the sequence in which they occurred. The systems of chronology used to record human history, which are closely related to calendar systems, vary in scope, accuracy, and method according to the purpose, degree of sophistication, and skills of the peoples using them. Scientific chronology, which seeks to place all happenings in the ...

  3. Chronological Definition & Meaning

    The meaning of CHRONOLOGICAL is of, relating to, or arranged in or according to the order of time; also : reckoned in units of time. How to use chronological in a sentence.

  4. Chronology

    Chronology (from Latin chronologia, from Ancient Greek χρόνος, chrónos, "time"; and -λογία, -logia) is the science of arranging events in their order of occurrence in time.Consider, for example, the use of a timeline or sequence of events.It is also "the determination of the actual temporal sequence of past events". Chronology is a part of periodization.

  5. Chronology

    chronology: 1 n the determination of the actual temporal sequence of past events Types: glottochronology the determination of how long ago different languages evolved from a common source language Type of: arts , humanistic discipline , humanities , liberal arts studies intended to provide general knowledge and intellectual skills (rather than ...

  6. Chronological Order: Examples of Chronological Order

    Chronology Definition. Chronology is an arrangement of events in chronological order. It is also a system that determines the time of the occurrence of certain events. ... Timeline ; Chronological ...

  7. What is A Timeline

    Timeline is the alignment of time, a chronological statement, to define a certain chain of events or activities that happened at a particular phase. In a visual context, it is a representation of the data, defined through lists, tables or graphics, where its all jotted down, sequenced in the same chronological order.

  8. Chronology: Definitions and Examples

    Chronology is the arrangement of events by time. In literature, most authors write their story as a sequence of events—when you use this method, arranging events in the order in which they occurred in time, it's called putting them in "chronological order.". Sticking with a chronological timeline is the easiest way for audiences to ...

  9. What is Chronological Order?

    Chronological order is listing, describing, or discussing when events happened as they relate to time. Basically, it is like looking at a timeline to view what occurred first and what happened ...

  10. Historical chronology explained

    Chronology in history refers to the arrangement of events in the order in which they occurred. It is the study of how time is organised and divided in relation to historical events. The goal of chronology in history is to place events in their proper order, so that they can be studied and understood in their historical context.


    chronological definition: 1. following the order in which a series of events happened: 2. following the order in which a…. Learn more.


    chronology definition: 1. the order in which a series of events happened, or a list or explanation of these events in the…. Learn more.

  13. Timeline

    A timeline is a display of a list of events in chronological order. It is typically a graphic design showing a long bar labelled with dates paralleling it, and usually contemporaneous events.. Timelines can use any suitable scale representing time, suiting the subject and data; many use a linear scale, in which a unit of distance is equal to a set amount of time.

  14. Chronology Types & Examples

    Time is a measurement and is often a measurement that records the movement cycles of the Earth, moon, and sun. As stated, clocks and calendars are used to measure time in increments in the present ...

  15. Timeline Definition & Meaning

    Timeline definition, a linear representation of important events in the order in which they occurred. See more.

  16. Timeline Definition & Meaning

    Timeline definition: A schedule of activities or events; a timetable. A chart, table, etc. of historical dates and events in chronological order, typically including summaries and illustrations.

  17. What is chronological order?

    'Chronological' means the order in which things happen. Watch the video to learn all about how to order events. Practice putting events in chronological order with the activity below!

  18. timeline

    A timeline is a tool that organizes information. It is used to describe the order in which events happened. Timelines can also help show how events in history are related. A timeline can cover a short amount of time in great detail, or it can offer a more general overview of a long period of time. For instance, a timeline can highlight the most ...


    timeline meaning: 1. a line that shows the time and the order in which events have happened 2. a plan that shows how…. Learn more.

  20. Chronological order Definition & Meaning

    The definition of Chronological order is the arrangement of things following one after another in time. See additional meanings and similar words.