nos·​tal·​gic | \ nä-ˈstal-jik How to pronounce nostalgic (audio) , nə- also nȯ-, nō-; nə-ˈstäl- \

Definition of nostalgic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: feeling or inspiring nostalgia: such as
a : longing for or thinking fondly of a past time or condition As we drove through the French countryside, I couldn't help being not just nostalgic, but wistful, about how simple wine was 25 years ago.— Matt Kramer The protest mostly featured the usual suspects—anti-capitalists, environmentalists, union types chanting "Solidarity," and aging hippies nostalgic for their youth.— Margaret Wente
b : evocative of a longed-for past time or condition He loved good stories, especially nostalgic ones from his boyhood, and relished the telling.— Peter Schworm He soon parlayed his nostalgic pictures into a business that would eventually include writing, antique collecting, museum operations, and reproduction-furniture making.— David K. Leff


plural nostalgics

Definition of nostalgic (Entry 2 of 2)

: someone who longs for a past time or condition : a person given to nostalgia There are nostalgics on both sides who felt better with a predictably snarling standoff than with the uncertain paths now opening.— Flora Lewis Eventually it would become an empty shell, a refuge for nostalgics unable to accept the challenge facing all organizations in a changing world; adapt or perish.— John L. H. Keep

Other Words from nostalgic


nostalgically \ nä-​ˈstal-​ji-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce nostalgic (audio) , nə-​ also  nȯ-​ , nō-​ ; nə-​ˈstäl-​ \ adverb
thinking nostalgically of the summers they spent together looking back nostalgically on happier times

First Known Use of nostalgic


1782, in the meaning defined above


1874, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nostalgic


nostalg(ia) + -ic entry 1


noun derivative of nostalgic entry 1

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Time Traveler for nostalgic

Time Traveler

The first known use of nostalgic was in 1782

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Cite this Entry

“Nostalgic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for nostalgic


nos·​tal·​gic | \ nä-ˈstal-jik \

Kids Definition of nostalgic

: having, showing, or characterized by a longing for something past nostalgic stories

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