rewrite history

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rewrite history

1. To create a false narrative about how a historical event happened so as to promote one's own personal agenda or beliefs. The government is being accused of rewriting history by instructing schools to use textbooks that paint its formation 200 years ago (and the subsequent decimation of the indigenous population here) in a more positive light.
2. To achieve a level of success that sets a new record or goes against a history of performing poorly. Used especially in reference to sports. After missing out on the playoffs for nearly 50 years in a row, the team has been on a huge winning streak this season, and it has a chance to rewrite history by not only making the playoffs, but winning the whole championship. The up-and-coming player is rewriting history with his stunning debut year on the field.
See also: history, rewrite
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

rewrite history

If someone rewrites history, they try to make people believe that something happened in a particular way, when that is not the truth. They were good at rewriting history when such a process suited them. As Orwell pointed out, history can be and often is rewritten to suit the needs of the present. Note: This expression is used to express disapproval.
See also: history, rewrite
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

rewrite history

select or interpret events from the past in a way that suits your own particular purposes.
See also: history, rewrite
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
SUNDERLAND v ASTON VILLA Today, Stadium of Light, 3pm MARTIN O'NEILL has accused Aston Villa of rewriting history over claims the club are still paying the price for his lavish spending as manager.
And the pair fell out last season, when Pulis said Wenger was "rewriting history from 150 miles away" after the Gunners had lost 2-1 at the Britannia Stadium and the Frenchman claimed that his players had been deliberately injured.
After waiting 123 days for a league success, victory at Tottenham in late December gave Ipswich hope of rewriting history.
WALES: 2012: Sep 7: Belgium (h) Sep 11: Serbia (a) Oct 12: Scotland (h) Oct 16: Croatia (a) 2013: March 22: Scotland (a) March 26: Croatia (h) Sep 6: Macedonia (a) Sep 10: Serbia (h) Oct 11: Macedonia (h) 15 October: Belgium (a) SCOTLAND: Sep 8: Serbia (h) Sep 11: Macedonia (h) Oct 12: Wales (a) Oct 16: Belgium (a) 2013: March 22: Wales (h) March 26: Serbia (a) June 7: Croatia (a) Sep 6: Belgium (h) Sep 10: Macedonia (a) Oct 15: Croatia (h) Wa But Wales have undergone a mini-revival under Gary Speed and, with the fixture list now finalised, will fancy their chances of rewriting history.
Well, Sir Alan Sugar's new Apprentice looks like he is rewriting history.
Her priority seems to be settling scores and rewriting history and to hell with the damage it might cause Labour."
MICHAEL O'Neill has backed goal machine Gary Twigg to keep rewriting history at Shamrock Rovers.
Can we not go down the path of America in rewriting history
REWRITING HISTORY 2: Iain, sorry Ian Duncan Smith, told us we should never underestimate the determination of a quiet man.
No, Blair's rewriting history by failing to pick up his US Congressional Gold Medal.
But critics argue the clean-up is "rewriting history".
Defence Secretary Des Browne said: "This is not about rewriting history. I do not want to secondguess decisions made by the commanders at the time.