me·​men·​to | \ mə-ˈmen-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce memento (audio) , nonstandard mō- How to pronounce memento (audio) \
plural mementos or mementoes

Definition of memento

: something that serves to warn or remind a museum filled with war mementos— Libby Lubin also : souvenir mementos of their travels

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Did You Know?

Memento comes from the imperative form of "meminisse," a Latin verb that literally means "to remember." (The term memento mori, meaning "a reminder of mortality," translates as "remember that you must die.") The history of "memento" makes it clear where its spelling came from, but because a memento often helps one remember a particular moment, people occasionally spell the term "momento." That second version is usually considered a misspelling, but it appears often enough in edited prose to have been considered acceptable for entry in Webster's Third New International Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary.

Examples of memento in a Sentence

a collection of photographs and mementos It was a memento of our trip.
Recent Examples on the Web Instead, Gonzalez hones in on mostly inanimate objects—mountains of handwritten cards, drawings, paper cranes and other tiny mementos left behind and archived after some of the deadliest school massacres in the nation’s history. Time, "TIME's 30 Best Photobooks of 2019," 21 Dec. 2019 Over the past year, visitors have come to the chapel to honor Matthew Shepard by leaving notes, flowers, candles and other mementos that are preserved in the cathedral archives, a cathedral spokesperson said. Maddie Capron And Justin Lear, CNN, "A plaque dedicated to Matthew Shepard installed at Washington National Cathedral," 4 Dec. 2019 Made with Love Keepsakes can mix both breast milk and placenta powder to make jewelry or other mementos like this trinket box, made entirely from placenta powder and gold glitter. Sonja Haller, USA TODAY, "Jewelry made from umbilical cords and baby hair: 5 quirky gifts for new moms," 19 Nov. 2019 Attendees can leave pictures, flowers and other mementos at the community altar, a centerpiece designed by artist Kyllan Maney and volunteers. Laura Latzko, azcentral, "Celebrate your loved ones at Dia de los Muertos in the Mesa Arts Center," 17 Oct. 2019 Soon, Burlingame’s friends were donating their own baseball, soccer and other mementos to the menagerie. Matt Wake |, al, "Huntsville, here’s your next coffee obsession," 19 Aug. 2019 Create reminders: Keep a stuffed animal or other memento in your child’s car seat when empty. Jacob Beltran,, "Education not enough as hot car deaths continue in Texas," 16 July 2019 Community members left flowers, balloons, notes and other mementos atop the hood of a police car outside the Racine Police Department to memorialize Hetland. Marisa Peryer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Community mourns loss of Racine cop John Hetland, suspect still at large," 19 June 2019 Astronauts left mementos on the moon in the 1960s and ’70s. Christina Barron, Washington Post, "KidsPost 2019 News Quiz," 1 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'memento.' 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 memento

1580, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for memento

Middle English, from Latin, remember, imperative of meminisse to remember; akin to Latin ment-, mens mind — more at mind

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Time Traveler for memento

Time Traveler

The first known use of memento was in 1580

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Last Updated

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Memento.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for memento


How to pronounce memento (audio) How to pronounce memento (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of memento

: something that is kept as a reminder of a person, place, or thing


me·​men·​to | \ mi-ˈmen-tō How to pronounce memento (audio) \
plural mementos or mementoes

Kids Definition of memento

: something that serves as a reminder She collected mementos on her trip.

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More from Merriam-Webster on memento

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for memento

Spanish Central: Translation of memento

Nglish: Translation of memento for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of memento for Arabic Speakers

Comments on memento

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


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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