1 of 2

verb (1)

rec·​ol·​lect ˌre-kə-ˈlekt How to pronounce recollect (audio)
recollected; recollecting; recollects

transitive verb

: to bring back to the level of conscious awareness : remember
trying to recollect the name
: to remind (oneself) of something temporarily forgotten

intransitive verb

: to call something to mind


2 of 2

verb (2)

re-col·​lect ˌrē-kə-ˈlekt How to pronounce re-collect (audio)
re-collected; re-collecting; re-collects

transitive verb

: to collect again
especially : rally, recover
Choose the Right Synonym for recollect

remember, recollect, recall, remind, reminisce mean to bring an image or idea from the past into the mind.

remember implies a keeping in memory that may be effortless or unwilled.

remembers that day as though it were yesterday

recollect implies a bringing back to mind what is lost or scattered.

as near as I can recollect

recall suggests an effort to bring back to mind and often to re-create in speech.

can't recall the words of the song

remind suggests a jogging of one's memory by an association or similarity.

that reminds me of a story

reminisce implies a casual often nostalgic recalling of experiences long past and gone.

old college friends like to reminisce

Examples of recollect in a Sentence

Verb (1) I've been trying to recollect what happened. I don't recollect telling him anything, but maybe I did. She couldn't recollect who had mentioned his name in the first place. From what I recollect, they said four of them were coming.
Recent Examples on the Web
The Beast Photo: Carole Bethuel Léa Seydoux and British actor George MacKay lead up this time-bending, almost Nolan-esque love story about a woman, in the year 2044, who struggles to feel or recollect emotion. Radhika Seth, Vogue, 9 Sep. 2023 Rather, Lerner is working a seam between what is recollected and what is imagined. David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times, 7 Sep. 2023 Releasing the ball on the bounce in a forward motion to recollect the ball between the first and second bounce to legally allow the player to transfer tramp to tramp. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 18 July 2023 There are different accounts of that meeting, but these are things that Truman recollected. Dennis Overbye, New York Times, 20 July 2023 The main narrative of The Grand Budapest Hotel exists within a nesting doll of frame stories, one of which features F. Murray Abraham as the adult Zero recollecting his history with the hotel to a writer, played by Jude Law. Joe Reid, Vulture, 26 June 2023 Inspired by Ferreira’s nostalgic fondness for Brazil, the sandal and slide designs are rooted in 1960s and ’70s Brazilian design, recollecting classic designer Percival Lafer and his iconic brown leather couches. The Editors, Los Angeles Times, 5 July 2023 In fact, the loss of memories is not typical of FTD until the final stages of the disorder, with patients only then struggling to recollect and recognize their family, friends, and their favorite places. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 4 July 2023 The author also recollects a trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture shortly after its 2016 opening. Michael Cavna, Washington Post, 6 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'recollect.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Verb (1)

Medieval Latin recollectus, past participle of recolligere, from Latin, to gather again

Verb (2)

partly from Latin recollectus, past participle of recolligere, from re- + colligere to collect; partly from re- + collect

First Known Use

Verb (1)

1559, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Verb (2)

1604, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of recollect was in 1559

Dictionary Entries Near recollect




Cite this Entry

“Recollect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
rec·​ol·​lect ˌrek-ə-ˈlekt How to pronounce recollect (audio)
: to recall to mind : remember
: to remind oneself of something temporarily forgotten


2 of 2 verb
: to collect again

More from Merriam-Webster on recollect

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!