memory

noun
mem·​o·​ry | \ ˈmem-rē How to pronounce memory (audio) , ˈme-mə- \
plural memories

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 older
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 has a good memory for faces
2a : commemorative remembrance erected a statue in memory of the hero
b : the fact or condition of being remembered days of recent memory
3a : a particular act of recall or recollection has no memory of the event
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 within the memory of living men
4a : a device (such as a chip) or a component of an electronic device (such as a computer or smartphone) in which information 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 : 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)

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web By Season 2, a fresh class of Pierpoint inductees has arrived, and Hari is a distant memory. Carrie Battan, The New Yorker, 1 Aug. 2022 Dry air and rain-free conditions may be a memory by late Sunday, as rain chances rise and flooding downpours become possible around sunset. A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, 30 July 2022 The Loma Prieta earthquake, which happened minutes before a World Series game between the Giants and Oakland Athletics, is a non-sports memory that is crystal clear for Clark more than three decades later. Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle, 29 July 2022 There was a funny memory about former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan, and war stories from his days as an activist. Los Angeles Times, 22 July 2022 Accomplish that goal, and any worries about preseason disrespect will be a distant memory. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, 20 July 2022 But in the Atlantic Ocean gray whales are just a memory, mentioned in historical documents or evoked by the occasional find of a single ancient bone—that is until a surprisingly-intact skeleton emerged from the sands of a North Carolina beach. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 July 2022 Bitcoin has lost over half its value since the beginning of the year and its $67,000 high of November 2021 looks a distant memory. Alexander Onukwue, Quartz, 12 July 2022 The economy will stagnate long after the Covid lockdowns are just a bad memory. Milton Ezrati, Forbes, 11 July 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of memory

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for 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

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Time Traveler for memory

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The first known use of memory was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near memory

memorize

memory

memory bank

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Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Memory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/memory. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for memory

memory

noun
mem·​o·​ry | \ ˈme-mə-rē How to pronounce memory (audio) , ˈmem-rē \
plural memories

Kids Definition of memory

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.

memory

noun
mem·​o·​ry | \ ˈmem-(ə-)rē How to pronounce memory (audio) \
plural memories

Medical Definition of memory

1a : 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 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)

More from Merriam-Webster on memory

Nglish: Translation of memory for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of memory for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about memory

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