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 But aside from the screen, the new Razr’s appeal is more nostalgia than cutting-edge tech. Washington Post, "Motorola’s Razr flip phone is back as a folding-screen smartphone, for $1,500," 14 Nov. 2019 And the strange nostalgia of looking back on your teenage years. Megan Ditrolio, Marie Claire, "'Back to Life' Is the New Show You Need to Binge," 11 Nov. 2019 Arguably the most meme-friendly app of the world right now celebrates and flourishes with nostalgia, montages and pop culture trends. Abhik Choudhury, Quartz India, "A dummies guide to running brand campaigns on TikTok in India," 11 Nov. 2019 Anastasio’s solo acoustic show covered the big topics of love and life, with specific focus on nostalgia, friendship and mortality. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Trey Anastasio brings sentimental journey to Indianapolis," 27 Oct. 2019 Through his campaign slogan, Trump seizes the emotional power of nostalgia, conjuring a glorious national history and offering it as an alternative to an uncertain future. Catherine Cusick, Longreads, "1000 Days of Trump," 19 Oct. 2019 One unifying theme of its grab-bag of treasures is nostalgia. Rand Richards Cooper,, "In Our Midst: Slow shopping at the Old Wethersfield Country Store," 18 Oct. 2019 To see culture, history, and the arts as more than sources of beauty, exoticism, and nostalgia, but to use them as tools that help the audiences navigate the challenges of contemporary America. CBS News, "Book excerpt: "A Fool's Errand" on what America needs to remember," 28 Sep. 2019 There was nostalgia emanating from every blade of the Etihad pitch, as players to have donned the Citizens' blue took on a Premier League All-Stars side in an entertaining 2-2 draw., "6 Ex-Footballers Who Could Without Doubt 100% Still Play in the Premier League," 12 Sep. 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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Time Traveler for nostalgia

Time Traveler

The first known use of nostalgia was in 1729

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Statistics for nostalgia

Last Updated

27 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Nostalgia.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 5 December 2019.

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More Definitions for nostalgia


How to pronounce nostalgia (audio)

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

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