long-term memory


: memory that involves the storage and recall of information over a long period of time (such as days, weeks, or years)
In animal experiments and autopsies of human brains, researchers have found that the hippocampal formation—an inner-brain region consisting of the hippocampus and several other related structures—is critical for the formation of long-term memory.Science News
abbreviation LTM
compare short-term memory, working memory

Examples of long-term memory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For example, nootropics can also optimize brain activity and neural communication and improve short-term and long-term memory. Dallas News, 24 Jan. 2023 The robot sighs briefly and packs in his long-term memory cell for the journey. IEEE Spectrum, 15 Feb. 2023 Benefits of Tai Chi include reducing stress, promoting weight loss, improving cognitive awareness and short and long-term memory, improving balance and strength, relieving nervous tension and calming the mind. Shirley MacFarland, cleveland, 6 Jan. 2023 This part of the brain is associated with not just spatial awareness and direction, developed during the sensitive period of early childhood, but also short-term and long-term memory. Jennifer Sala, Discover Magazine, 9 Aug. 2022 Music is a powerful tool to activate long-term memory, including among dementia and Alzheimer’s patients with increasingly diminished memory, making music a unique stimuli even for patients further along into a dementia diagnosis. Ethan Millman, Rolling Stone, 7 July 2022 Multitasking can interfere with working memory, cause students to do worse in school, and could possibly even create potentially long-term memory problems. Avery Hurt, Discover Magazine, 10 May 2021 In the fathers, a surge of prolactin helped the neurons form a permanent circuit in the brain, which integrated a pup’s scent into the father’s long-term memory. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, 15 Feb. 2016 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'long-term memory.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1940, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of long-term memory was in 1940

Dictionary Entries Near long-term memory

Cite this Entry

“Long-term memory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/long-term%20memory. Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition

long-term memory

: memory that involves the storage and recall of information over a long period of time (as days, weeks, or years)
A short-term memory's conversion to a long-term memory requires changes within the brain that protect the memory from interference from competing stimuli or disruption from injury or disease.Alison Preston, Scientific American
But the mystery remains: how do cells in the cortex physically lay down long-term memories?Sandra Blakeslee, The New York Times
abbreviation LTM
compare short-term memory
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