memory

play
noun mem·o·ry \ˈmem-rē, ˈme-mə-\

Definition of memory

plural

memories

  1. 1 a :  the power or process of reproducing or recalling what has been learned and retained especially through associative mechanisms b :  the store of things learned and retained from an organism's activity or experience as evidenced by modification of structure or behavior or by recall and recognition

  2. 2 a :  commemorative remembrance <erected a statue in memory of the hero> b :  the fact or condition of being remembered <days of recent memory>

  3. 3 a :  a particular act of recall or recollection b :  an image or impression of one that is remembered <fond memories of her youth> c :  the time within which past events can be or are remembered

  4. 4 a :  a device (as a chip) or a component of a device in which information especially for a computer can be inserted and stored and from which it may be extracted when wanted; especially :  ram b :  capacity for storing information <512 megabytes of memory>

  5. 5 :  a capacity for showing effects as the result of past treatment or for returning to a former condition —used especially of a material (as metal or plastic)

Examples of memory in a sentence

  1. He began to lose his memory as he grew older.

  2. Dad has a selective memory: he remembers the times he was right and forgets the times he was wrong.

  3. We have pleasant memories of the trip.

  4. trying to repress bitter memories

  5. His name evokes memories of a happier time.

  6. That time is just a dim memory to me now.

  7. The happiness of those times is still vivid in my memory.

  8. Her name has faded from memory.

  9. I seem to have very little memory of that time in my life.

  10. The sudden shock jogged his memory and everything came flooding back into his mind.

Origin and Etymology of memory

Middle English memorie, from Anglo-French memoire, memorie, from Latin memoria, from memor mindful; akin to Old English gemimor well-known, Greek mermēra care, Sanskrit smarati he remembers


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of memory

memory, remembrance, recollection, reminiscence mean the capacity for or the act of remembering, or the thing remembered. memory applies both to the power of remembering and to what is remembered <gifted with a remarkable memory> <that incident was now just a distant memory>. remembrance applies to the act of remembering or the fact of being remembered <any remembrance of his deceased wife was painful>. recollection adds an implication of consciously bringing back to mind often with some effort <after a moment's recollection he produced the name>. reminiscence suggests the recalling of usually pleasant incidents, experiences, or feelings from a remote past <my grandmother's reminiscences of her Iowa girlhood>.


MEMORY Defined for English Language Learners

memory

play
noun mem·o·ry \ˈmem-rē, ˈme-mə-\

Definition of memory for English Language Learners

  • : the power or process of remembering what has been learned

  • : something that is remembered

  • : the things learned and kept in the mind


MEMORY Defined for Kids

memory

play
noun mem·o·ry \ˈme-mə-rē, ˈmem-rē\

Definition of memory for Students

plural

memories

  1. 1 :  the power or process of remembering <She has a bad memory for names.>

  2. 2 :  the store of things learned and kept in the mind <… Botticelli … recited from memory all the confessions he had heard from prisoners. — Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux>

  3. 3 :  the act of remembering and honoring <The statue is in memory of a great soldier.>

  4. 4 :  something remembered <a pleasant memory>

  5. 5 :  the time within which past events are remembered <What happened is not within the memory of any living person.>

  6. 6 :  a device or part in a computer which can receive and store information for use when wanted <random access memory>

  7. 7 :  capacity for storing information <The computer has 512 megabytes of memory.>


Medical Dictionary

memory

play
noun mem·o·ry \ˈmem-(ə-)rē\

Medical Definition of memory

plural

memories

  1. 1a:  the power or process of reproducing or recalling what has been learned and retained especially through associative mechanismsb:  the store of things learned and retained from an organism's activity or experience as indicated by modification of structure or behavior or by recall and recognition

  2. 2:  a capacity for showing effects as the result of past treatment or for returning to a former condition—used especially of a material (as metal or plastic)



Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

of, relating to, or resembling a fox

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • alphabet-magnets
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ