memory

noun

mem·​o·​ry ˈmem-rē How to pronounce memory (audio)
ˈme-mə-
plural memories
1
a
: 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
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
a
: 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
4
a
: 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 In 2010, Vedder and his wife Jill co-founded the organization, which hosted a similar event last year at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry also held in memory of late actor and EBRP champion Leslie Jordan. Spin Staff, SPIN, 18 Feb. 2024 Inside the plan to diagnose Alzheimer’s in people with no memory problems — and who stands to benefit. Gazans in Rafah watch Israeli bombs move closer with nowhere left to run. Kevinisha Walker, Los Angeles Times, 17 Feb. 2024 Mourners have continued to lay flowers in Navalny's memory after news of his death was announced. Haley Chi-Sing, Fox News, 17 Feb. 2024 Weighing in at just $799 for the 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage variant, this new device competes with the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Ultra, as well as Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro Max, which retail for $1200 and $1400, respectively in similar storage but slightly lower memory configurations. Dave Altavilla, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 The brain’s frontal lobe controls thinking, planning, problem-solving, movement and short-term memory, according to the Mayo Clinic. Raja Razek and Jeanne Bonner, CNN, 16 Feb. 2024 Family photo In wake of her death, a GoFundMe with the goal of $75,000 was created in her memory on Thursday. Christopher Brito, CBS News, 16 Feb. 2024 The Boise State men’s basketball team is entering the home stretch of one the most competitive Mountain West seasons in recent memory. Ron Counts, Idaho Statesman, 16 Feb. 2024 Apple doesn't list how much memory its Pro devices offer, though it is suspected to be 8GB. Iyaz Akhtar, PCMAG, 6 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'memory.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near memory

Cite this Entry

“Memory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/memory. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

memory

noun
mem·​o·​ry ˈmem-(ə-)rē How to pronounce memory (audio)
plural memories
1
a
: the power or process of recalling what has been learned
b
: the store of things learned and kept in the mind
recite from memory
2
: commemoration sense 1
a monument in memory of a hero
3
: something remembered
has pleasant memories of the trip
4
: the time within which past events can be remembered
within the memory of people living today
5
a
: a device (as in a computer) into which information can be inserted and stored and from which it may be taken when needed
b
: capacity for storing information
a computer with 512 megabytes of memory

Medical Definition

memory

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

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