rec·​ol·​lec·​tion | \ ˌre-kə-ˈlek-shən How to pronounce recollection (audio) \

Definition of recollection

1a : tranquility of mind
b : religious contemplation
2a : the action or power of recalling to mind
b : something recalled to the mind

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Choose the Right Synonym for recollection

memory, remembrance, recollection, reminiscence mean the capacity for or the act of remembering, or the thing remembered. memory applies both to the power of remembering and to what is remembered. gifted with a remarkable memory that incident was now just a distant memory remembrance applies to the act of remembering or the fact of being remembered. any remembrance of his deceased wife was painful recollection adds an implication of consciously bringing back to mind often with some effort. after a moment's recollection he produced the name reminiscence suggests the recalling of usually pleasant incidents, experiences, or feelings from a remote past. my grandmother's reminiscences of her Iowa girlhood

Examples of recollection in a Sentence

Her recollection of the accident is very different from mine. She has only a vague recollection of her seventh birthday party. His novel is largely based on his own recollections of his childhood in the inner city.
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Recent Examples on the Web In one situation, Nandagopalan said a client noticed that a witness’s testimony didn’t match their recollection of events. Victoria Bekiempis, Wired, "How Covid Gums Up the Court System," 15 Feb. 2021 The firebrand New York congresswoman organized time on the House floor for members to share their thoughts and experiences about the Jan. 6 attack following her own long recollection of her experience in an Instagram livestream earlier this week. Emily Brooks, Washington Examiner, "Tlaib weeps on House floor during AOC-organized therapy session on Capitol breach," 5 Feb. 2021 Her next recollection was being in a car with five men who were grabbing at her and trying to kiss her over her objections. Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, "Woman taken to St. Cloud park by 5 strangers, is raped, charges say," 11 Nov. 2020 Eldawoody’s recollection doesn’t follow the timeline presented at trial: The recordings started in June 2004, and Siraj showed him the map in July. New York Times, "He Was Convicted of a Bombing Plot. Was It a Setup?," 15 Apr. 2021 Surveys in outbreak areas have found many people with antibodies against Ebola but no recollection of illness. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, "Why the Coronavirus Can Infect Us Without Making Us Sick," 7 Apr. 2021 Bishop Lynch coach Kyle May has a distinct recollection of the program’s first and only Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools’ boys basketball state championship in the 2001-02 season. Randy Jennings, Dallas News, "Bishop Lynch boys have chance to play giant-slayers once again, while girls can add another title to illustrious history," 11 Mar. 2021 Yet neither Doctor had any recollection of the other. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Exterminate! BBC drops trailer for Revolution of the Daleks special," 1 Dec. 2020 A year later, when shown both sets of answers in their own handwriting, a subset of students dismissed outright their earliest recollection and stuck to their more recent stories. Michael P. H. Stanley, National Review, "How Memory Works and Why It Fails," 20 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'recollection.' 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 recollection

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for recollection

Time Traveler

The first known use of recollection was in 1611

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Statistics for recollection

Last Updated

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Recollection.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for recollection



English Language Learners Definition of recollection

: the act of remembering something or the ability to remember something
: something from the past that is remembered


rec·​ol·​lec·​tion | \ ˌre-kə-ˈlek-shən How to pronounce recollection (audio) \

Kids Definition of recollection

1 : the act or power of remembering : memory a good recollection
2 : something remembered recollections of childhood

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Comments on recollection

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