noun \ˈmem-ˌwär, -ˌwr\

memoirs : a written account in which someone (such as a famous performer or politician) describes past experiences

: a written account of someone or something that is usually based on personal knowledge of the subject

Full Definition of MEMOIR

:  an official note or report :  memorandum
a :  a narrative composed from personal experience
b :  autobiography —usually used in plural
c :  biography
a :  an account of something noteworthy :  report
b plural :  the record of the proceedings of a learned society
mem·oir·ist \-ist\ noun

Examples of MEMOIR

  1. a retired politician who is writing his memoirs
  2. He has written a memoir of his mother.
  3. a memoir of Hollywood in the 1930s

Origin of MEMOIR

Middle French memoire, from memoire memory, from Latin memoria
First Known Use: 1571

Other Literature Terms

apophasis, bathos, bildungsroman, bowdlerize, caesura, coda, doggerel, euphemism, poesy, prosody


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

History or record composed from personal observation and experience. Closely related to autobiography, a memoir differs chiefly in the degree of emphasis on external events. Unlike writers of autobiography, who are concerned primarily with themselves as subject matter, writers of memoir usually have played roles in, or have closely observed, historical events, and their main purpose is describing or interpreting those events.


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