mnemonic

1 of 2

adjective

mne·​mon·​ic ni-ˈmä-nik How to pronounce mnemonic (audio)
1
: assisting or intended to assist memory
To distinguish "principal" from "principle" use the mnemonic aid "the principal is your pal."
also : of or relating to mnemonics
2
: of or relating to memory
mnemonic skill
mnemonically adverb

mnemonic

2 of 2

noun

: a mnemonic device or code

Did you know?

Need a mnemonic device to remember how to spell mnemonic? Although the word’s pronunciation begins with an n sound, the spelling begins with an m, as in memory. There are very few English words that start this way (mnestic and mnioid are two others), and as with similar Latin and Greek borrowings such as pneumonia, we retained the double initial consonant but not the pronunciation. In addition to its adjectival use, mnemonic is also a noun used to refer to a mnemonic device, such as the famous—or infamous—spelling dictum “I before E, except after C,” which isn't consistently helpful (just ask your neighbor to weigh in on it).

Examples of mnemonic in a Sentence

Noun HOMES is used as a mnemonic for the names of the Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
To make these connections stick, use mnemonic devices that resonate with you. Mark Travers, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 Check out this handy mnemonic popular on Twitter/X, as well as New York Times critic Jennifer Szalai’s terrific profile in that paper’s magazine. Boris Kachka, Los Angeles Times, 2 Sep. 2023 While some calls do require a mnemonic to remember, others are very distinctive. Alexandra Marvar, New York Times, 3 Aug. 2023 In fact, Google designed a flashy tool—complete with handy mnemonic devices—to help people master the basics. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, 24 July 2023 Ultimately, the mnemonic device Gilles employs to retain his phony Persian is turned to another purpose. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 12 June 2023 As mnemonic devices, photographs are intimidating in their mimetic perfection. Phoebe Chen, New York Times, 25 Apr. 2023 The Great Russian Mnemonist, Cortex, Volume 49, Issue 8, September 2013, Pages 2260-2263 Memory champions — winners of contests that test feats of recall, like quickly learning the order of stacks of cards — have similar capabilities, thanks to certain mnemonic techniques. Teal Burrell, Discover Magazine, 20 Jan. 2016 Right Now The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a mnemonic, the A.B.C.S., to help people know how to prevent stroke.28 A.B.C.S. describes the following prevention tips:28 A: Aspirin—This medication can help reduce the risk of stroke for people in certain high-risk groups. Alyssa Hui, Health, 12 Apr. 2023
Noun
The new mnemonic was created by Ludwig Göransson, the composer behind The Mandalorian, Black Panther, Tenet, and more. David Pierce, The Verge, 27 Mar. 2024 Some of the best alternatives include exercise, meditation, visualization techniques (mnemonics devices) and a diet rich in omega-3, blueberries, nuts and seeds. Kelly Santana Banks, Discover Magazine, 16 Apr. 2023 Advertisement Out of desperation, Mr. Lorayne discovered some library books on memory training and mnemonics, the system of using mental cues to aid memory. Brian Murphy, Washington Post, 8 Apr. 2023 Safe sleep practices can be summed up in an easy mnemonic: Parents only need to remember ABC: alone, back, crib, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Kate Sequeira, Los Angeles Times, 16 June 2023 Since then, spelling mnemonics have proliferated and gotten better. Melissa Mohr, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 June 2023 Bang-bang-bang-bang went the musical mnemonic at 10 to the hour, every hour. Dave Holmes, Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2023 In interviews and more than a dozen books, Mr. Lorayne shared examples of mnemonics at work. Brian Murphy, Washington Post, 8 Apr. 2023 Students at Bread for the City’s organizing institute are introduced to a mnemonic for structuring their approach, CEVA, which stands for connect, engage, vision and ask. John Kelly, Washington Post, 21 Dec. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mnemonic.' 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

Adjective and Noun

Greek mnēmonikos, from mnēmōn mindful, from mimnēskesthai to remember — more at mind

First Known Use

Adjective

1672, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1842, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mnemonic was in 1672

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Dictionary Entries Near mnemonic

Cite this Entry

“Mnemonic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mnemonic. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

mnemonic

adjective
mne·​mon·​ic
ni-ˈmän-ik
: assisting or intended to assist memory

Medical Definition

mnemonic

1 of 2 adjective
mne·​mon·​ic ni-ˈmän-ik How to pronounce mnemonic (audio)
1
: assisting or intended to assist memory
also : of or relating to mnemonics
2
: of or relating to memory
mnemonically adverb

mnemonic

2 of 2 noun
: a mnemonic device or code

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