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 \ -​ist How to pronounce memoirist (audio) \ 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

Fuller House actress Jodie Sweetin was recently awarded the Writers in Treatment’s Experience, Strength and Hope Award for her memoir Unsweetined and her advocacy work for recovering addicts. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "'Fuller House' Star Jodie Sweetin Shuts Down Instagram Follower Who Mocked Her Sobriety," 4 Mar. 2019 Getty ImagesDia Dipasupil Michelle Obama has traveled from city to city to talk about her memoir Becoming (our #ReadWithMC book club pick this month!), and her final leg in the States dropped her off in Brooklyn, New York. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Michelle Obama Wore a Pair of Glittery Balenciaga Boots for the Last Stop on Her 'Becoming' Tour," 20 Dec. 2018 After 50 years in the business, Miller retired at the end of 2009 and published his memoirs two years later, Harry M Miller: Confessions of a Not-So-Secret-Agent. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "Harry M. Miller, Australian Impresario and Manager, Dies at 84," 5 July 2018 Lynch is currently promoting his memoir/biography, Room to Dream. Kimberly Nordyke, The Hollywood Reporter, "David Lynch Backtracks After Saying Trump "Could Go Down as One of the Greatest Presidents"," 26 June 2018 Here are four new reads that Vogue editors have been loving—two fiction debuts and a pair of memoirs that should carry you away till spring. Vogue, "Need a Read? Here Are 4 New Books We're Loving," 26 Feb. 2019 First came former president Barack Obama, who spent a month in 2017 tucked away from the world to write his memoir in the atoll of Tetiaroa, staying at The Brando. Cynthia Drescher, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Everyone Is Suddenly Traveling to Tahiti," 9 Nov. 2018 Heidi Julavits wrote in her 2015 memoir The Folded Clock. Julie Beck, The Atlantic, "Exclamation Point Inflation," 27 June 2018 Every presidency, of course, produces its share of memoirs. Peter Baker, New York Times, "Postcards From Another Era: Obama Team Memoirs Flood the Stores," 24 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.

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

18 Mar 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).


the range of authority or knowledge

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

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!