im·​me·​mo·​ri·​al ˌi-mə-ˈmȯr-ē-əl How to pronounce immemorial (audio)
: extending or existing since beyond the reach of memory, record, or tradition
existing from time immemorial
immemorially adverb

Example Sentences

the immemorial roots of human spirituality stories passed down from time immemorial
Recent Examples on the Web Aside from the immemorial wonders, Shiraz provided other, less monumental features. Los Angeles Times, 14 Jan. 2022 Without thinking, Noonan raised two fingers from the steering wheel in that immemorial gesture of laconic country salute. Colin Barrett, The New Yorker, 6 Dec. 2021 Those two monuments were made to feel as immemorial as if they had been created by plate tectonics. Elizabeth Alexander, CNN, 30 Sep. 2021 The other produces an atmosphere of sacred, immemorial calm. Washington Post, 2 June 2021 The history of open memorials is perhaps best seen in spontaneous gestures of grief that are immemorial. Washington Post, 9 Apr. 2021 The first day of class has an immemorial feel to it, an air of familiar routines eternally renewed. Carlo Rotella, Washington Post, 20 Oct. 2020 To the surprise of some — me, for one — there was much in the collections created during lockdown that was frankly celebratory and that used 21st-century tools to connect with deep humanist urges and immemorial techniques. New York Times, 7 Oct. 2020 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, 14 Sep. 2020 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1602, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of immemorial was in 1602

Dictionary Entries Near immemorial

Cite this Entry

“Immemorial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



im·​me·​mo·​ri·​al ˌim-ə-ˈmōr-ē-əl How to pronounce immemorial (audio)
: going back beyond the reach of memory or record : very ancient
from time immemorial
immemorially adverb

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