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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from memoir

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

Synonyms for memoir


bio, biography, life

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The odyssey preceding the Supreme Court’s 2017 decision in Matal v. Tam is, certainly, the draw of Tam’s memoir. Nathan Rizzo | For The Oregonian/oregonlive,, "‘Slanted’ tells the story of Portland Asian American band’s fight to keep its name," 9 June 2019 France also chatted about stand-out moments in his memoir, meeting celebrities like Tina Fey and Bon Jovi, the French tuck (obviously) and much more. David Oliver, USA TODAY, "'Queer Eye' star Tan France talks new memoir, Tina Fey and the French tuck (of course)," 4 June 2019 The first three-quarters of Wood’s memoir are a powerful and thought- provoking recounting of his childhood. Staff, The Christian Science Monitor, "10 best books of June: the Monitor's picks," 14 June 2018 Amber Scorah, in her riveting debut memoir, Leaving the Witness, explores the upheaval of exiting a faith. Jacqueline Alnes, Longreads, "‘If Any of My Old Friends Are Reading This, It Is Okay Out Here.’," 8 June 2019 The Editor, Steven Rowley April 2 The Editor has an admittedly whimsical premise: An aspiring writer sells his memoir about his childhood to none other than Jackie Onassis. Elena Nicolaou,, "35 Outstanding LGBTQ+ Books Of 2019," 7 June 2019 Although the United States briefly sanctioned China, then-President George H.W. Bush wrote secretly to senior leader Deng Xiaoping within weeks of the massacre, according to his memoirs, to preserve U.S.-China relations. Robyn Dixon,, "30 years ago a Chinese tank column stopped for ‘Tank Man.’ Fang Zheng wasn’t so lucky," 3 June 2019 Around the same time as the launch of her brand, the designer had a rather auspicious encounter with one of her biggest fashion idols — André Leon Talley — who had just released his memoir. Teen Vogue, "Designer Kelsey Randall Has Launched a Line of Made-to-Order Baby Doll Dresses," 29 May 2019 Carly Simon announced her latest memoir detailing her friendship with Jacqueline Onassis. Charlotte Chilton, Town & Country, "Jacqueline Kennedy Will Be Featured in Carly Simon's Upcoming Memoir," 16 Apr. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about memoir

Dictionary Entries near memoir








Statistics for memoir

Last Updated

24 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for memoir

The first known use of memoir was in 1571

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on memoir

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


a device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!