recollection

noun

rec·​ol·​lec·​tion ˌre-kə-ˈlek-shən How to pronounce recollection (audio)
1
a
: tranquility of mind
b
: religious contemplation
2
a
: the action or power of recalling to mind
b
: something recalled to the mind
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.
Recent Examples on the Web Before heading to Las Vegas, McManus shared some recollections about his career and thoughts about the weekend ahead. Stephen Battaglio, Los Angeles Times, 8 Feb. 2024 Those recollections, in turn, are built on one very simple assumption: This happened. David Marchese Photograph By Mamadi Doumbouya, New York Times, 2 Feb. 2024 Secondly, what constituted a PCOS diagnosis wasn’t a doctor’s opinion, but androgen levels and participants’ recollections of their symptoms. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 31 Jan. 2024 My earliest recollection of Miami Beach was in that winter. Allen Lockshin, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024 The estranged couple’s conflict involves quasi-legalistic combing of memory to pick holes in each other’s conflicting recollections: who did what to whom, and when. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 3 Jan. 2024 The students — especially the women — loved meeting her and hearing her recollections about standing up for her rights in the hospital and at work during the heyday of second-wave feminism. Barron H. Lerner, STAT, 27 Dec. 2023 Most influential was Marcel Ophuls’s documentary, based on individual recollections of the Vichy experience, The Sorrow and the Pity (1969), which was barred from French television for a decade but shown in a few Paris cinemas in 1971. Robert O. Paxton, Harper's Magazine, 17 Dec. 2023 Payne shares his recollections of the day that changed his life, and one that millions will remember. Brayden Garcia, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 26 Jan. 2024 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of recollection was in 1611

Dictionary Entries Near recollection

Cite this Entry

“Recollection.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/recollection. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

recollection

noun
rec·​ol·​lec·​tion ˌrek-ə-ˈlek-shən How to pronounce recollection (audio)
1
: the action or power of recalling to mind
2
: something recalled to the mind

More from Merriam-Webster on recollection

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