Definition of memory
1a : the power or process of reproducing or recalling what has been learned and retained especially through associative mechanisms began to lose his memory as he grew olderb : 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 has a good memory for faces
2a : commemorative remembrance erected a statue in memory of the herob : the fact or condition of being remembered days of recent memory
3a : a particular act of recall or recollection has no memory of the eventb : an image or impression of one that is remembered fond memories of her youthc : the time within which past events can be or are remembered within the memory of living men
4a : a device (such 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 : ramb : capacity for storing information 512 megabytes of memory
5 : a capacity for showing effects as the result of past treatment or for returning to a former condition —used especially of a material (such as metal or plastic)
Examples of memory in a Sentence
He began to lose his memory as he grew older.
Dad has a selective memory: he remembers the times he was right and forgets the times he was wrong.
We have pleasant memories of the trip.
trying to repress bitter memories
His name evokes memories of a happier time.
That time is just a dim memory to me now.
The happiness of those times is still vivid in my memory.
Her name has faded from memory.
I seem to have very little memory of that time in my life.
The sudden shock jogged his memory and everything came flooding back into his mind.
Recent Examples of memory from the Web
A memory crammed with knowledge enables these talents.
MORE ON HUGH FREEZE: The exchange over the phone call highlights the ugliness between Ole Miss and Nutt as the school attempts to fight one of the most expansive NCAA infractions cases in recent memory.
There’s a bit of a muscle memory there for Republicans.
Members of the graduating class created the mural as a lasting memory.
The 22 memory care suites for residents with forms of dementia will be located on the ground floor where the building's amenities and services also will be located.
Nolan’s own Inception being a major one—summer blockbusters tend to be distant memories by the time Academy balloting rolls around in January.
Disney is tangled throughout my early childhood memories, and somewhere in my house there are mouse ears with my name in looping script on the back.
But the most painful and powerful memories were of her mother Yvonne, her lifelong inspiration, dying slowly of typhus in Belsen after a 45-mile death march at the war’s end.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'memory.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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 centurySee Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of memory
MEMORY Defined for English Language Learners
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
Definition of memory for Students
1 : the power or process of remembering She has a bad memory for names.
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 : the act of remembering and honoring The statue is in memory of a great soldier.
4 : something remembered a pleasant memory
5 : the time within which past events are remembered What happened is not within the memory of any living person.
6 : a device or part in a computer which can receive and store information for use when wanted random access memory
7 : capacity for storing information The computer has 512 megabytes of memory.
Medical Definition of memory
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: 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)
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