Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

nostalgia

play
noun nos·tal·gia \nä-ˈstal-jə, nə- also nȯ-, nō-; nə-ˈstäl-\

Simple Definition of nostalgia

  • : pleasure and sadness that is caused by remembering something from the past and wishing that you could experience it again

Full Definition of nostalgia

  1. 1 :  the state of being homesick :  homesickness

  2. 2 :  a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition; also :  something that evokes nostalgia

nos·tal·gic play \-jik\ adjective or noun
nos·tal·gi·cal·ly play \-ji-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
nos·tal·gist play \-jist\ noun

Examples of nostalgia

  1. To dwell even fitfully on the past, for James, was to risk crippling nostalgia; the past was the shadow side of will and therefore must be rejected. —Jackson Lears, Nation, 26 Feb. 2007

  2. My own feelings were that since I'd jettisoned employment, marriage, nostalgia and swampy regret, I was now rightfully a man aquiver with possibility and purpose … —Richard Ford, Independence Day, 1995

  3. … the script is written in advance, around the uplifting themes of our civic religion: reconciliation, patriotism, self-sacrifice, the bond of leader and little guy, nostalgia for what is inevitably called “a simpler time.” —Katha Pollitt, Nation, 22 May 1995

  4. Nevertheless, if one understands the nostalgia for war which marked these years of his break with America, it still remains a nostalgia that is empyreal and histrionic. Only once in his career did MacArthur lead as small a body of men as a company—one somehow feels that the idea of MacArthur, even as a boy, in command of anything less than a division verges on the ludicrous … —William Styron, “MacArthur,” 8 Oct. 1964, in William Styron, This Quiet Dust and Other Writings, 1982

  5. A wave of nostalgia swept over me when I saw my childhood home.

  6. He was filled with nostalgia for his college days.



Origin of nostalgia

New Latin, from Greek nostos return home + New Latin -algia; akin to Greek neisthai to return, Old English genesan to survive, Sanskrit nasate he approaches


First Known Use: 1756

Rhymes with nostalgia


Medical Dictionary

nostalgia

play
noun nos·tal·gia \nä-ˈstal-jə, nə-, nȯ-; nə-ˈstäl-\

Medical Definition of nostalgia

  1. 1:  the state of being homesick

  2. 2:  a wistful or excessively sentimental sometimes abnormal yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition

  3. nos·tal·gic \-jik\play adjective
    nos·tal·gi·cal·ly \-ji-k(ə-)lē\play adverb




Learn More about nostalgia


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up nostalgia? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 7, 2016

a slight offense

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

spindrift pince-nez kittly-benders duvet
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ