mem·​oir | \ ˈmem-ˌwär How to pronounce memoir (audio) , -ˌwȯr \

Definition of memoir

1 : an official note or report : memorandum
2a : a narrative composed from personal experience every memoir reminds us of the faraway and long ago, of loss and change, of persons and places beyond recall— Abigail McCarthy
b : autobiography usually used in plural His memoirs recall his student days at Harvard.
c : biography his memoir of his longtime friend
3a : an account of something noteworthy : report the work described and discussed in this memoir represent a first-class investigation— J. A. Steers
b memoirs plural : the record of the proceedings of a learned society

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Other Words from memoir

memoirist \ ˈmem-​ˌwär-​ist How to pronounce memoir (audio) , -​ˌwȯr-​ \ noun

Synonyms for memoir


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Examples of memoir in a Sentence

a retired politician who is writing his memoirs He has written a memoir of his mother. a memoir of Hollywood in the 1930s
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Recent Examples on the Web The company's blog even republished an excerpt from Biden's memoir. Lucien Bruggeman, ABC News, "As Biden’s son-in-law invests in COVID-19 response, questions of family and ethics could resurface," 9 Feb. 2021 Not many writers have more than one memoir in them, but Doyle has had more than one life. Ariel Levy, The New Yorker, "Glennon Doyle’s Honesty Gospel," 8 Feb. 2021 This meditative, revelatory memoir is Tyson’s first. Barbara Vandenburgh, USA TODAY, "10 must-read Black History Month book recommendations: Cicely Tyson, Angie Thomas and more," 4 Feb. 2021 Lefkowitz’s lively memoir traces his path from public health and cardiology to biochemistry and a 2012 Nobel Prize. LIVE; LIVE; LIVE, by Jonathan Buckley. New York Times, "New & Noteworthy, From Food Policy to Communicating With the Dead," 2 Feb. 2021 No book moved me more than this memoir from chef and writer Phyllis Grant. Washington Post, "The best food books of 2020 that will get you thinking, not cooking," 24 Dec. 2020 This memoir follows author Brittany K. Barnett during her time as a young law student. Kami Phillips, CNN Underscored, "Start reading more in 2021 with Amazon’s best books of 2020," 22 Dec. 2020 More:Cicely Tyson’s death comes days after her memoir was released. Mark Athitakis, USA TODAY, "'Our ancestors watch over us': A Cherokee family endures in Brandon Hobson's 'The Removed'," 31 Jan. 2021 Sorensen even asked Schlesinger to hold back on finishing his memoir so Sorensen could publish first. Tevi Troy, Washington Examiner, "Baggage check," 21 Jan. 2021

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

1571, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for memoir

Middle French memoire, from memoire memory, from Latin memoria

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Statistics for memoir

Last Updated

20 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Memoir.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for memoir



English Language Learners Definition of memoir

: a written account in which someone (such as a famous performer or politician) describes past experiences
: a written account of someone or something that is usually based on personal knowledge of the subject

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