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

Comey hastened to point out that his book, part memoir and part meditation on the value of personal ethics, isn't about President Trump. Douglas Perry,, "In Portland talk, James Comey calls Donald Trump 'not morally fit,' insists Robert Mueller 'will find the facts'," 21 Apr. 2018 That temperament emerged in its most wickedly concentrated form in Callahan’s drawings, one of which supplied the darkly funny title of his 1989 memoir and now this movie. Justin Chang,, "Review: Joaquin Phoenix stars in the captivating addiction drama 'Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot'," 12 July 2018 Always My Hero, a memoir and tribute to Sam, has been a journey of re-living painful experiences and events, to create a story of inspiration to others that may find the healing process of losing a sibling an impossible feat. Fox News, "'Always My Hero' by Renee Nickel," 4 July 2018 Based off both of the Sheff men’s memoirs, the story stands to tell an emotional tale around struggle, recovery and the power of family. Megan Stein, Country Living, "The First Trailer for Steve Carell’s New Movie ‘Beautiful Boy’ Will Make You Ugly Cry," 28 June 2018 Right now, as the world celebrates the 100th year since his birth, aspects of the Bernstein story are found in more than two dozen biographies, photo books, collections of essays, and memoirs of and by him. Peter Dobrin,, "Leonard Bernstein's daughter tells Philly: My dad would love 'Hamilton' and be 'a little jealous'," 28 June 2018 Her two most recent novels and two memoirs are of a piece. Dwight Garner, New York Times, "Stepping Out of Character and Starting a New Story," 25 June 2018 Many women are interested in books about law, prison memoirs and fiction and Spanish language publications. Hannah Steinkopf-frank, RedEye Chicago, "Chicago in action: Give back to the city with these three volunteer organizations," 14 June 2018 The Magnolia Story, which chronicled their romance and rise to fame, was their first, followed by Chip’s memoir and business guide, Capital Gaines, and Joanna’s cookbook, Magnolia Table, which came out in April. Megan Stein,, "Joanna Gaines Reveals the Cover of Her Upcoming Design Book, Homebody," 11 June 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

16 Sep 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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Comments on memoir

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alleviating pain or harshness

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