im·​me·​mo·​ri·​al | \ ˌi-mə-ˈmȯr-ē-əl How to pronounce immemorial (audio) \

Definition of immemorial

: extending or existing since beyond the reach of memory, record, or tradition existing from time immemorial

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Other Words from immemorial

immemorially \ ˌi-​mə-​ˈmȯr-​ē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce immemorially (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for immemorial



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Examples of immemorial in a Sentence

the immemorial roots of human spirituality stories passed down from time immemorial
Recent Examples on the Web Goya knew the problem and let slip the solution, which is to keep in mind that there is no solution, only an immemorial question: Now what? Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "Goya and the Art of Survival," 14 Sep. 2020 Akhnaten is remarkable in its depiction of the Egyptian ruler’s piety, its immemorial-sounding rhythms, and its visual composition of illumination and acrobatics. Mary Spencer, National Review, "Philip Glass’s Akhnaten Brings Ancient Egyptian Piety to Life," 14 Dec. 2019 What made the Gulf War and the Iraq War different from others in the immemorial annals of human atrociousness? Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "The Art of War in “Theater of Operations”," 25 Nov. 2019 The chapters, named after months in the Ethiopian calendar and suffused with an awe for the landscape, direct our attention to the immemorial, recurring rhythms of earth and sky: of rain, sowing and harvest, of weddings, births and funerals. Gaiutra Bahadur, New York Times, "She Didn’t Know How to Read, but Her Stories Captured History," 10 May 2018 The welfare state, properly understood by Friedrich Hayek and others, is an effort to continue in modern conditions the immemorial practice of taking care of those who are poor, disabled, or in distress. Christopher Demuth Sr., National Review, "Repairing Our Fractured Politics," 11 Jan. 2018

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

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First Known Use of immemorial

1602, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for immemorial

probably from French immémorial, from Middle French, from Medieval Latin immemorialis lacking memory, from Latin in- + memorialis memorial

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Time Traveler for immemorial

Time Traveler

The first known use of immemorial was in 1602

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Statistics for immemorial

Last Updated

26 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Immemorial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2020.

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How to pronounce immemorial (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of immemorial

formal + literary : very old or ancient : from a time so long ago that it cannot be remembered

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