Word of the Day


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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


a way of showing respect for someone who has died or for an important event

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

Origin and usage

Remembrance comes partly from French and partly from within English as a derivation of the verb ‘remember’. It has been used in English since the 14th century.


Remembrance is a very old word but one that is not much used today except in a couple of very specific contexts. It is most commonly used nowadays in the terms Remembrance Sunday and Remembrance Day (an alternative name for Armistice Day). ‘Sunday’ and ‘Day’ are two of the most frequent noun collocates of remembrance, others being ‘parade’ and ‘ceremony’. Adjectives such as affectionate, fond, grateful and solemn are also frequent. Remembrance was also famously used in the title of an early translation of Marcel Proust’s seven-volume novel ‘À la Recherche du Temps Perdu’, translated as ‘Remembrance of Things Past’. The title has more recently been translated more literally as ‘In Search of Lost Time’. As can be seen from the quotation below, the earlier title was probably inspired by a Shakespeare sonnet.


“When to the sessions of sweet silent thought I summon up remembrance of things past”
(William Shakespeare, sonnet 30)

Related words

commemoration, recollection, memory

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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