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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