verb (1)
rec·​ol·​lect | \ ˌre-kə-ˈlekt How to pronounce recollect (audio) \
recollected; recollecting; recollects

Definition of recollect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to bring back to the level of conscious awareness : remember trying to recollect the name
2 : to remind (oneself) of something temporarily forgotten

intransitive verb

: to call something to mind


verb (2)
re-col·​lect | \ ˌrē-kə-ˈlekt How to pronounce re-collect (audio) \
re-collected; re-collecting; re-collects

Definition of re-collect (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to collect again especially : rally, recover

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for recollect

Synonyms: Verb (1)

Synonyms: Verb (2)

Antonyms: Verb (1)

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for recollect

Verb (1)

remember, recollect, recall, remind, reminisce mean to bring an image or idea from the past into the mind. remember implies a keeping in memory that may be effortless or unwilled. remembers that day as though it were yesterday recollect implies a bringing back to mind what is lost or scattered. as near as I can recollect recall suggests an effort to bring back to mind and often to re-create in speech. can't recall the words of the song remind suggests a jogging of one's memory by an association or similarity. that reminds me of a story reminisce implies a casual often nostalgic recalling of experiences long past and gone. old college friends like to reminisce

Examples of recollect in a Sentence

Verb (1) I've been trying to recollect what happened. I don't recollect telling him anything, but maybe I did. She couldn't recollect who had mentioned his name in the first place. From what I recollect, they said four of them were coming.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Berger, in a deposition, didn’t recollect providing test data to Ohlin. Mike Hughlett, Star Tribune, "3M mired in one of largest mass torts ever over military earplugs," 18 Sep. 2020 That poetry takes it origins from ‘emotion recollected in tranquility’? Christopher Borrelli,, "For Richard Powers of Evanston, author of the Pulitzer-winning ‘Overstory,’ trees are people too," 8 Oct. 2019 Reflecting on times spent with Bob, one can't help but smile, shake your head, recollecting some crazy memory, and softly chuckle-CHEERS BOB!, "Robert D. Jones," 28 Nov. 2019 In the bestselling book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki recollects his early experiences from the teachings of his poor dad, and his wealthy best friend’s dad. Ashley Mcdonough, Essence, "8 Books You Need to Read to Get Your Money Right," 27 Nov. 2019 Who will endure through the mists of time to get recollected a decade or two from now? Jon Tayler,, "37 MLB Players Destined to Become 'Guys' Who Will Be Remembered," 17 Sep. 2019 For the study, health investigators collected bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples—that is fluid flushed into and then recollected from the lung through a tube inserted into the mouth or nose. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Vitamin E acetate found in all lung fluid samples tested from injured vapers," 8 Nov. 2019 That makes this weekend a time to recollect and celebrate the good times. Matt Nevala, Anchorage Daily News, "Make some noise, Cowbell Crew — the boys are back in town for Aces alumni game," 8 Nov. 2019 Metro bus driver Antonio McClendon recollects his actions after his bus was caught in the crossfire of a shooting that killed one his bus riders. Chris Mayhew,, "Bus driver 'made the right call' speeding to hospital with shooting victim, Metro says," 26 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'recollect.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of recollect

Verb (1)

1559, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Verb (2)

1604, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for recollect

Verb (1)

Medieval Latin recollectus, past participle of recolligere, from Latin, to gather again

Verb (2)

partly from Latin recollectus, past participle of recolligere, from re- + colligere to collect; partly from re- + collect

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about recollect

Time Traveler for recollect

Time Traveler

The first known use of recollect was in 1559

See more words from the same year

Statistics for recollect

Cite this Entry

“Recollect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for recollect



English Language Learners Definition of recollect

: to remember (something)


rec·​ol·​lect | \ ˌre-kə-ˈlekt How to pronounce recollect (audio) \
recollected; recollecting

Kids Definition of recollect

: to call to mind : remember Can you recollect what happened?

More from Merriam-Webster on recollect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for recollect

Nglish: Translation of recollect for Spanish Speakers

Comments on recollect

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!