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

But Madison and Israel described a great many things in their recollections, including life at Monticello as well as life in freedom. Andrew M. Davenport, Smithsonian, "Putting Enslaved Families’ Stories Back in the Monticello Narrative," 14 June 2018 The varied reactions to the audio file are like the different recollections of witnesses to an event, Franck said. Jeremy C. Fox,, "Some science behind why you heard Laurel or Yanny (or both)," 16 May 2018 There are no recollections of the first time he’d been admonished by his mother for his attitude on the basketball court. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Aaron Holiday's family ties at core of what makes him attractive to Pacers," 7 July 2018 These are the recollections of longtime courtroom artist Jane Collins of Duxbury. Cindy Atoji Keene,, "One of this courtroom artist’s biggest challenges: Whitey Bulger’s bald head," 19 Apr. 2018 This is my recollection of the experience and how the process opened my eyes to the ground-level issues still plaguing the sport in our country. Kyle Martino,, "Kyle Martino: Reflecting on U.S. Soccer's Election, Our Persisting Youth Issue," 21 Mar. 2018 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

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

21 Oct 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

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


playful or foolish behavior

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