Do you think "update" means the person puts the new information over the existing one, so that the previous history can't be seen?

I heard someone said "update" meant we cannot see the previous information history, so don't use update if we can see the information history.

I think update just means adding the recent information, and we can't know whether the previous information history is gone or not, which means it just depends on the person who update it.

Longman says:

up‧date1 /ʌpˈdeɪt/ verb [transitive]

1 to add the most recent information to something

So I can't tell with only the definition. Could you help me? Thanks

  • 3
    "Update" can be used in both senses. It may be you can see only the latest value. Or it may be you can see many previous values as well.
    – GEdgar
    Jan 8, 2019 at 1:18

1 Answer 1


In common usage, although "update" DOES imply that the old information is replaced/superseded, "update" does NOT emphasize the hiding of old information, but emphasize the new information, which is more recent, more full, more accurate, more relevant. Cambridge Dictionary defines "update" as "to give someone the most recent information" or "to make something more modern or suitable for use now by adding new information or changing its design".

To emphasize that the old information is still accessible, another frequently used word is "revise". Thus we see "revision history" used a lot in editing programs such as Microsoft Word.

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