memento

noun
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

Reporters who are on the scene covering the tragedy documented people approaching the cars and placing mementos on social media. Eileen Reslen, Country Living, "People Are Leaving Flowers and Stuffed Animals on Cars Left Behind by Ride the Ducks Victims," 20 July 2018 Students dropped off balloons and flowers and other mementos at the Acosta home in Melrose Park. Deborah Kadin, chicagotribune.com, "'We can watch him grow every single day': Tree planted in memory of Northlake Middle School sixth-grader," 29 May 2018 Kimball remembers grabbing his insulin, and other mementos. Clifton Brown, Indianapolis Star, "Fire at family home still vivid for IndyCar's Charlie Kimball," 25 May 2018 With clues and mementos scattered everywhere, Sherlock's private rooms of 221B Baker Street started the project. Debbie Arrington, sacbee, "Where the game is always afoot for Sherlock lovers | The Sacramento Bee," 20 Apr. 2018 But the Mozart — the Piano Concerto in B-flat major (K. 595), Mozart’s last effort in that genre — is also, in part, a memento of perennially current political machinations: a weak leader, shifting alliances, creeping repression. Matthew Guerrieri, BostonGlobe.com, "Mozart for an era of political machinations," 28 June 2018 He was gassed and wounded on June 12, according to a small pocket diary his descendants keep as a memento. Virginia Mayo, BostonGlobe.com, "Marines’ bravery celebrated 100 years after French battle," 27 May 2018 Even the harmless memento reveals a misunderstanding in America about Russia and its culture. Elizabeth Myong, Houston Chronicle, "Russians in Houston have diverse views on international affairs," 8 July 2018 But perhaps the most precious and unusual memento comes from one of their most famous fans, Taylor Swift. Nancy Kruh, PEOPLE.com, "Little Big Town Exhibit Showcases Career Highs, Lows — and a One-of-a-Kind Gift from Taylor Swift," 29 June 2018

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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Statistics for memento

Last Updated

1 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for memento

The first known use of memento was in 1580

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More Definitions for memento

memento

noun

English Language Learners Definition of memento

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

memento

noun
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

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