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

By their logic, the hazier the recollection, the more credible the allegation. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, "The Mitchell Memo’s Devastating Conclusions," 2 Oct. 2018 All of them vomited in the hotel room and have little to no recollection of anything from that evening. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Terrifying stories from tourists in Mexico continue a year after mysterious drowning," 27 June 2018 The attorney general's office insists that Furr's recollection is correct and that, at the Virginia Beach meeting, there was a misinterpretation about the attorney general's official position on notification. Jessica Contrera, Anchorage Daily News, "Decades’ worth of rape kits are finally being tested, but no one can agree on what to do next," 20 Feb. 2018 Out September 4, the 336-page tome is a visual celebration of that legacy, filled with Smith’s personal recollections of his life and storied career and the shoe that bears his name, as seen throughout history in 200 photographs. Monica Kim, Vogue, "A New Photo Book Celebrates the Iconic Stan Smith—Both Man and Shoe," 31 Aug. 2018 Refrigeration is a relatively new addition, and Bailey’s childhood recollections of storing food underground, canning and the community coming together to butcher an animal provided this visitor with deep insight into life on Sapelo. Brett Mcnish, Smithsonian, "A Smithsonian Horticulturist Goes on a Quest for an Historic Seedling," 15 Feb. 2018 Ford says were at the party has any recollection at all of that night. Stavros Agorakis, Vox, "Read the full transcript of Sen. Collins’s speech announcing she’ll vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh," 5 Oct. 2018 Director Bart Layton mixes scripted scenes with recollections of the actual people involved. Hal Boedeker,, "Florida Film Festival: Blake Jenner loves 'American Animals'," 4 Apr. 2018 No one in my family has any recollection of ordering it. Sean P. Murphy,, "This Amazon one-click can easily leave you on the hook for $8.99 each month," 26 Mar. 2018

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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Statistics for recollection

Last Updated

11 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for recollection

The first known use of recollection was in 1611

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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

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


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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