rec·ol·lec·tion | \ ˌre-kə-ˈlek-shən \

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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Synonyms for recollection


memory, mind, remembrance, reminiscence

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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

Police investigators determined the ambulance lights and sirens were on at the time of the crash, and have video that refutes the witnesses’ recollections, Ferrelli said. Sarah Freishtat, Aurora Beacon-News, "Ambulance driver in crash that sent 10 to hospitals showed 'due regard,' Aurora fire marshal says," 22 June 2018 Not quite, said Cardinals rookie reliever Jordan Hicks, who smiled this week at the recollection of that showdown with Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera. Scott Lauber,, "A closer look at Phillies reliever Tommy Hunter's season so far | Extra Innings," 20 June 2018 After two years, and countless games and moments, the recollections are fuzzy. Terrence Thomas, San Antonio Express-News, "Cougarettes riding a pair of aces," 31 May 2018 Due to the haze of excess and lack of sleep, my recollection of the trip is pretty thin. Shanté Honeycutt, Billboard, "Takeover Tuesday: Noah Kahan Gets Lost in the Music (and Mexico)," 17 Apr. 2018 Good movies about sprawling scandals like the one engulfing the Trump administration can’t rely on the recollections of just one participant to make a good movie. Andy Lewis, The Hollywood Reporter, "James Comey's 'A Higher Loyalty': Book Review," 16 Apr. 2018 Fostering teen The friends’ recollections add to the mystery that surrounds the family and a tragedy that may or may not have been intentional. Nina Shapiro, The Seattle Times, "Hart family mystery deepens as friends remember previous foster child in Minnesota," 11 Apr. 2018 Only an abiding sense of wrongness and the unbearable recollection of being violently penetrated. Keith Gessen, The New Yorker, "The Silence: The Legacy of Childhood Trauma," 10 Apr. 2018 Gamundoy no longer has his notes, but stands by his recollection., "'They framed me': On death row for decades, Kevin Cooper pushes for new DNA tests in Chino Hills murders," 8 July 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

26 Aug 2018

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 \

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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