Word of the Day


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1. something that you remember

1a. the fact that people remember a particular person or event

2. the ability to remember things

Origin and usage

The noun memory comes from the Old French ‘memorie’ and ultimately from the Latin ‘memoria’ and the related adjective ‘memor’. The object form of the Latin noun is still used in the phrase in memoriam.


With the approach of the centenary of the end of the First World War, memories of the conflict and those who took part in it have been widely shared. Of course there is hardly anyone alive whose memory stretches back to the war, and everyone who took part in it is dead, but fortunately the memories of those who did take part have been preserved on paper, on film and in recordings.

Human memory takes many forms, and has been the subject of innumerable scientific studies, as well as works of literature through the ages. The Russian-American author Valdimir Nabokov titled his autobiographical memoir Speak, Memory, personifying the faculty that had proved so valuable in the course of his writing career and long exile from his homeland.


“Our memory is a more perfect world than the universe: it gives back life to those who no longer exist.”

(Guy de Maupassant)

Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.”
(Haruki Murakami)

Related words

recall, recollection, flashback

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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Macmillan Dictionary

Macmillan Dictionary

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