me·​men·​to mə-ˈmen-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce memento (audio)
mō- How to pronounce memento (audio)
plural mementos or mementoes
: something that serves to warn or remind
a museum filled with war mementosLibby Lubin
also : souvenir
mementos of their travels

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. This is usually considered a misspelling, but it appears often enough in edited prose to have been entered in most dictionaries as an acceptable variant spelling.

Examples of memento in a Sentence

a collection of photographs and mementos It was a memento of our trip.
Recent Examples on the Web Now all that’s left of those three bears are memories and mementos. Olivia Diaz, Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2023 Kristin Chenoweth is looking back on 20 years of Wicked with a sweet memento. Jen Juneau, Peoplemag, 24 Oct. 2023 Of course, no space is complete without personal touches like treasured mementos and photos of meaningful family events. Maggie Gillette, Better Homes & Gardens, 31 Oct. 2023 Part shopping, part experience, a stop at Wimberley Glassworks is highly suggested for travelers in search of a memento from their trip. Lydia Mansel, Travel + Leisure, 8 Oct. 2023 When Taylor Made a 'Credential' for Scott on the Eras Tour Even though Scott's spent plenty of time on tour, Taylor crafted him a precious memento on opening night of the Eras Tour. Zoey Lyttle, Peoplemag, 21 Oct. 2023 Now it’s reconfigured as a work and living space: The ground floor holds the couple’s studios, including Henson’s archives and collections of books, photographs, paintings and other mementos. Bill Wyman Anu Kumar, New York Times, 18 Oct. 2023 Keep a rhythm Breaking up books and collections with unexpected objects—whether artwork or ceramics or personal mementos—brings nice texture to a library. Ariel Okin, Vogue, 18 Oct. 2023 Hang them on the tree with green Christmas tree ribbon, then embellish with silver mementos and sprigs of faux white berries to complete the classic look. Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 Oct. 2023 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1580, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of memento was in 1580


Dictionary Entries Near memento

Cite this Entry

“Memento.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


me·​men·​to mi-ˈment-ō How to pronounce memento (audio)
plural mementos or mementoes
: something that serves to warn or remind
also : souvenir
mementos of a trip

More from Merriam-Webster on memento

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