mem·​oir | \ˈmem-ˌwär, -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 \-​ist \ noun

Synonyms for memoir


bio, biography, life

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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

Instead, Gold’s memoir is once again wickedly intelligent, wildly imaginative (well, in some ways) and everything in between. Alexis Burling,, "‘I Will Be Complete,’ by Glen David Gold," 21 June 2018 More than a decade later, in 1998, Tami self-published her memoir, which Hyperion Press republished in 2002 and Dey Street Books re-released under the movie's title in 2018. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "The Crushing True Story Behind 'Adrift'—and How Tami Oldham Ashcraft Survived at Sea," 30 May 2018 Samantha, who has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and uses a wheelchair, is writing a memoir entitled The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister. Lisa Ryan, The Cut, "All the Meghan Markle Family Drama, Explained," 15 May 2018 For more from Kim Brooks, pre-order Sweet Animals— part memoir, part call to action — available August 21. Kim Brooks, Good Housekeeping, "I Left My Son Alone In the Car for 5 Minutes — And It Caused a Two-Year Legal Nightmare," 14 Aug. 2018 Obama is also spending his post-presidential free time working on details for his forthcoming presidential library in Chicago, a presidential memoir that is set to be published by Penguin Random House and a production deal with Netflix. Abby Vesoulis, Time, "'This Is a Moment of Great Urgency.' Former President Barack Obama Tries to Mobilize Democrats at Fundraiser Event," 29 June 2018 Jamie Bernstein, Leonard Bernstein’s firstborn daughter, has written a memoir of her family, a family that her overwhelming dad—loving, inspired, and sometimes insufferable—dominated for decades. David Denby, The New Yorker, "Leonard Bernstein Through His Daughter’s Eyes," 16 June 2018 Rezaian's forthcoming memoir had been acquired by Bourdain, who has an imprint with Ecco, a division of HarperCollins. Abby Ohlheiser, Anchorage Daily News, "Anthony Bourdain, chef and TV host, dies at 61 in apparent suicide," 8 June 2018 Obama's upcoming memoir will be published in 24 languages and is set for release on Nov. 13. Sydney Scott,, "Yes, Yes, Yes! Michelle Obama Shares Cover For New Book 'Becoming'," 24 May 2018

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

9 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for memoir

The first known use of memoir was in 1571

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English Language Learners Definition of memoir

memoirs : 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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