memento mori

noun me·men·to mo·ri \ mə-ˈmen-tō-ˈmȯr-ē \

Definition of memento mori

plural memento mori
:a reminder of mortality; especially :death's-head

Did You Know?

Memento mori literally means "Remember you must die". The early Puritan settlers were particularly aware of death and fearful of what it might mean, so a Puritan tombstone will often display a memento mori intended for the living. These death's-heads or skulls may strike us as ghoulish, but they helped keep the living on the straight and narrow for fear of eternal punishment. In earlier centuries, an educated European might place an actual skull on his desk to keep the idea of death always present in his mind.

Origin and Etymology of memento mori

Latin, remember that you must die


aut vincere aut mori

Latin phrase aut vin·ce·re aut mo·ri \ au̇t-ˈwiŋ-ke-rā-ˌau̇t-ˈmȯ-ˌrē \

Definition of aut vincere aut mori

:either to conquer or to die

dulce et decorum est pro patria mori

Latin quotation from Horace dul·ce et de·co·rum est pro pa·tria mo·ri \ ˌdu̇l-ˌke-et-de-ˈkȯr-u̇m-ˌest-prō-ˌpä-trē-ˌä-ˈmȯ-ˌrē \

Definition of dulce et decorum est pro patria mori

:it is sweet and proper to die for one's country

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