ei·​det·​ic | \ ī-ˈde-tik How to pronounce eidetic (audio) \

Definition of eidetic

: marked by or involving extraordinarily accurate and vivid recall especially of visual images an eidetic memory

Other Words from eidetic

eidetically \ ī-​ˈde-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce eidetic (audio) \ adverb

Did you know?

Eidetic is the technical adjective used to describe what we more commonly call a photographic memory. The word ultimately derives from the Greek noun eidos, meaning "form." The ability of certain individuals to recall images, sounds, or events with uncanny accuracy is a subject of fascination for researchers in the field of psychology. Among notable people who were reputed to have eidetic memories is the late television comic Jackie Gleason, who reportedly was able to memorize an entire half-hour script in a single read-through.

Examples of eidetic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Others have benefited from the club’s eidetic memory. New York Times, 25 Apr. 2022 Abrams also graduated from Yale Law and has an excellent memory, though not an eidetic one. Washington Post, 6 May 2021 Olson contends that Audubon had an eidetic memory—commonly called photographic memory—because the sometimes astounding positions of his birds have been verified by contemporary videos and photographs captured via telephoto lenses. Marissa Fessenden, Scientific American, 17 May 2013 And so, now, all he is left with are his memories: vivid and bright and 98 percent eidetic, and not just for score lines but for sensations, too. Rory Smith, New York Times, 15 Oct. 2020 If anything, my largest quibble with the show is that Lucy’s main skill as a historian seems to be having a near-eidetic memory of dates and names, when— let’s be real—memorizing dates is not actually what history is about. Rachel Kaufman, Smithsonian, 12 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'eidetic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of eidetic

circa 1924, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for eidetic

Greek eidētikos of a form, from eidos form — more at wise

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The first known use of eidetic was circa 1924

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Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Eidetic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eidetic. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for eidetic


ei·​det·​ic | \ ī-ˈdet-ik How to pronounce eidetic (audio) \

Medical Definition of eidetic

: marked by or involving extraordinarily accurate and vivid recall especially of visual images an eidetic memory

Other Words from eidetic

eidetically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce eidetic (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on eidetic

Nglish: Translation of eidetic for Spanish Speakers


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