rem·​i·​nisce ˌre-mə-ˈnis How to pronounce reminisce (audio)
reminisced; reminiscing
reminiscer noun

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What Comes to Mind When Thinking of reminisce?

Reminisce and its relative reminiscence come from the mind—that is to say, they come from the Latin word for "mind," which is mens. A root related to mens teamed up with the prefix re- to create the Latin verb reminisci ("to remember"), an ancestor of both words. Reminisce is one of several English verbs starting with re- that mean "to bring an image or idea from the past into the mind." Others in this group include remember, recall, remind, and recollect. Reminisce distinguishes itself from the others by implying a casual recalling of experiences long past, often with a sense of nostalgia.

Choose the Right Synonym for reminisce

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 reminisce in a Sentence

Ray pauses to point out the Whisky a Go Go, on Sunset Boulevard, and reminisces about the night Elvis Presley went there to see the Kinks play. David Wild, Rolling Stone, 13 May 1993
When relatives reminisce about my great-grandfather, they almost always precede it with some reference to his affection for me. Donna Tartt, Harper's, July 1992
We had apple fritters, roast chicken, an enormous lunch, with Mrs. Truman talkative, easy, and the President reminiscing and telling jokes. Lady Bird Johnson 2 Sept. 1965,, A White House Diary1970
He reminisced with old buddies at his high school reunion. She reminisced about her time in Europe.
Recent Examples on the Web The former mayor of London reminisced on his relationship with the late sovereign in a Sept. 1 essay for the Daily Mail — and shed more light on the style guidance! Janine Henni, Peoplemag, 11 Sep. 2023 As for her time in Whoville, Momsen previously reminisced on her experience filming the classic holiday movie during an interview with the Today show in 2020, to celebrate the film’s 20th anniversary. Carly Thomas, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 Sep. 2023 Joan Rivers’ daughter, Melissa, reminisced about her mother with Kelly. Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, 4 Sep. 2023 Wulf was reminiscing at a cafe in Portland in August. Jeastman, oregonlive, 4 Sep. 2023 With a mix of famous local and international faces in the past — including winners Anastacia, Melody Thornton, Cody Simpson and Bonnie Anderson — the program has become a fan favourite that takes viewers back in time to reminisce about some of the biggest celebrity names. Alicia Vrajlal,, 21 Aug. 2023 Spend the time reminiscing on childhood memories and sampling your way around the drink and appetizer menu. 8. Janece Maze, Country Living, 31 Aug. 2023 Standing near her first guitar, on display in the exhibit, Loveless reminisced about first having to overcome her childhood shyness to even be able to show off her prodigious voice. Nancy Kruh, Peoplemag, 29 Aug. 2023 The British racecar driver and Formula 1 champion Jenson Button sat in an armchair inside the Rolex hospitality suite at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in mid-August at the height of Monterey Car Week and reminisced about his favorite Rolexes. Victoria Gomelsky, Robb Report, 25 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History


back-formation from reminiscence

First Known Use

1829, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of reminisce was in 1829


Dictionary Entries Near reminisce

Cite this Entry

“Reminisce.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


rem·​i·​nisce ˌrem-ə-ˈnis How to pronounce reminisce (audio)
reminisced; reminiscing
: to talk or think about things that happened in the past
reminisced about old times

More from Merriam-Webster on reminisce

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