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
The memory of it, a reminder that there is no way but forward as painful as that may be, will remain with me always.
The brilliance required a collapse, though, and the downfall of the Golden State Warriors had been encapsulated in a different play, before the Cavaliers created memories in triplicate.
TOKYO—Toshiba Corp. is undoing a spinoff of its joint venture with Western Digital Corp. in its latest bid to accelerate the sale of the Japanese technology giant’s flash memory chip unit and survive.
Most of the women — in their late 70s at the youngest — are suffering from severe dementia, but the reminders from bygone days trigger memories and skills once thought lost, and produce surprising levels of happiness and comfort.
The Ali Center, near River Road and Sixth Street, will be open on June 3, and visitors are encouraged to sign a guest book available for those who want to share messages and memories of Ali.
The room where candles are reflected millions of times in memory of the 1.5 million children who were murdered by the Nazis is enough to reduce anyone to tears.
The meta-study also found some evidence marijuana can cause respiratory distress, worsen anxiety and other mental illnesses, harm a person's capacity learn, their attention span, memory and is associated with abusing other substances.
At night, Mr. Shields’s friends stood around it and serenaded his still body and memory.
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)
Learn More about memory
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).