nos·​tal·​gia | \ nä-ˈstal-jə How to pronounce nostalgia (audio) , nə- also nȯ-, nō-; nə-ˈstäl-\

Definition of nostalgia

1 : the state of being homesick : homesickness
2 : a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition also : something that evokes nostalgia

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Other Words from nostalgia

nostalgist \ nä-​ˈstal-​jist How to pronounce nostalgist (audio) , nə-​ also  nȯ-​ , nō-​ ; nə-​ˈstäl-​ \ noun

Examples of nostalgia in a Sentence

To dwell even fitfully on the past, for James, was to risk crippling nostalgia; the past was the shadow side of will and therefore must be rejected. — Jackson Lears, Nation, 26 Feb. 2007 My own feelings were that since I'd jettisoned employment, marriage, nostalgia and swampy regret, I was now rightfully a man aquiver with possibility and purpose … — Richard Ford, Independence Day, 1995 … the script is written in advance, around the uplifting themes of our civic religion: reconciliation, patriotism, self-sacrifice, the bond of leader and little guy, nostalgia for what is inevitably called "a simpler time." — Katha Pollitt, Nation, 22 May 1995 Nevertheless, if one understands the nostalgia for war which marked these years of his break with America, it still remains a nostalgia that is empyreal and histrionic. Only once in his career did MacArthur lead as small a body of men as a company—one somehow feels that the idea of MacArthur, even as a boy, in command of anything less than a division verges on the ludicrous … — William Styron, "MacArthur," 8 Oct. 1964, in This Quiet Dust and Other Writings1982 A wave of nostalgia swept over me when I saw my childhood home. He was filled with nostalgia for his college days.
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Recent Examples on the Web

By 30, nostalgia for past music overrides the hunger for new sounds. Charlie Harding, Vox, "Why every small-plates restaurant has the same playlist," 2 Aug. 2019 The Dunking Cardinal Bird was the main logo on Louisville's uniforms in the 1980s, remembered especially for the 1982-83 Final Four team, and has remained a source of nostalgia for fans. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville basketball: KFC Yum Center court gets a makeover with dunking cardinal," 1 Aug. 2019 His departure will bring a sense of nostalgia for Liverpool fans., "Farewell Alberto Moreno: The Last Remnant of Liverpool's Banter Era," 2 July 2019 The very questions evoke a nostalgia for a seemingly simpler past. K.n.c., The Economist, "Globalisation is dead and we need to invent a world order," 28 June 2019 With the rise of local dating apps and social networks such as Momo and Weibo, however, drift bottle is now largely an object of nostalgia for China’s internet users. Jane Li, Quartz, "China’s millennials are mourning the end of an era in online hook-up culture," 25 June 2019 These are the parts of the Fox poll, surfacing a nostalgia for steadiness and unity, that should upset the Trump campaign, not Mr. Biden’s 10-point lead 16 months before the election. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "Trump’s ‘Sleepy Joe’ Problem," 19 June 2019 Much of fashion is riding on a wave of 1990s nostalgia, and Gap’s original core category, denim, is bouncing back after years of pressure from athleisure. Marc Bain, Quartzy, "Gap is blaming the weather for poor sales of its boring clothes," 31 May 2019 Moreover, Endgame reveals a franchise—and perhaps an audience—caught between nostalgia for the status quo that built it and the interesting, diverse possibilities ahead. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, "Let’s Talk About What That Girl Power Moment in Avengers: Endgame Means," 29 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nostalgia.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of nostalgia

1729, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nostalgia

New Latin, from Greek nostos return home + New Latin -algia; akin to Greek neisthai to return, Old English genesan to survive, Sanskrit nasate he approaches

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More Definitions for nostalgia



English Language Learners Definition of nostalgia

: pleasure and sadness that is caused by remembering something from the past and wishing that you could experience it again


nos·​tal·​gia | \ nä-ˈstal-jə How to pronounce nostalgia (audio) \

Kids Definition of nostalgia

: a longing for something past


nos·​tal·​gia | \ nä-ˈstal-jə, nə-, nȯ-; nə-ˈstäl- How to pronounce nostalgia (audio) \

Medical Definition of nostalgia

1 : the state of being homesick
2 : a wistful or excessively sentimental sometimes abnormal yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition

Other Words from nostalgia

nostalgic \ -​jik How to pronounce nostalgic (audio) \ adjective
nostalgically \ -​ji-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce nostalgically (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on nostalgia

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nostalgia

Spanish Central: Translation of nostalgia

Nglish: Translation of nostalgia for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nostalgia for Arabic Speakers

Comments on nostalgia

What made you want to look up nostalgia? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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