rem·​i·​nis·​cence | \ ˌre-mə-ˈni-sᵊn(t)s How to pronounce reminiscence (audio) \

Definition of reminiscence

1 : apprehension of a Platonic idea as if it had been known in a previous existence
2a : recall to mind of a long-forgotten experience or fact
b : the process or practice of thinking or telling about past experiences
3a : a remembered experience
b : an account of a memorable experience often used in plural
4 : something so like another as to be regarded as an unconscious repetition, imitation, or survival

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Choose the Right Synonym for reminiscence

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 reminiscence in a Sentence

his reminiscences about the war were painful to hear we wondered whether she could trust her reminiscence of events that happened so long ago
Recent Examples on the Web Bar manager Jo McDaniel has similar reminiscence of Phase 1, an iconic lesbian bar in Washington D.C. ‘s Capitol Hill neighborhood that closed its doors permanently in 2016. Sarah Marloff, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Rise and Fall of America’s Lesbian Bars," 21 Jan. 2021 His film is also a diary, soaked in personal reminiscence. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "The Movies That Mattered in 2020," 24 Dec. 2020 This is not a comprehensive tribute—this year, more than most, an all-encompassing list would have been impossible—but rather a brief but heartfelt reminiscence of cultural figures who held particular meaning for our writers and editors. Vogue, "Remembering the People We Lost in 2020," 22 Dec. 2020 To reminiscence, order three dozen pierogi of your choice — made to order, frozen, and shipped — pop them in boiling, salted water for a few minutes, and serve with a side of applesauce and sour cream. Amy Schulman, Travel + Leisure, "How to Eat Like a New Yorker Wherever You Are," 8 Dec. 2020 At one point, a Wainwright childhood reminiscence told to (and about) Curtis got a little too TMI, but then the ambience of the home show is loose and ultra-casual. David L. Coddon, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Arts & Culture Newsletter: Getting cozy with Rufus Wainwright," 15 Oct. 2020 In what is much more than reminiscence, McPherson and Hawkins recount playing with icons Charles Mingus and Miles Davis, respectively, and of the racial injustice Black musicians encountered on the road and even within their own musicians unions. David L. Coddon, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Arts & Culture Newsletter: North Coast Rep streams ‘Necessary Sacrifices’," 17 Sep. 2020 Curreri sang his first lines with a sort of weary reminiscence. Brendan Fitzgerald, Longreads, "“I miss my body when it was ferocious” The Transfiguration of Paul Curreri," 10 Aug. 2020 Curreri sang his first lines with a sort of weary reminiscence. Brendan Fitzgerald, Longreads, "“I miss my body when it was ferocious” The Transfiguration of Paul Curreri," 10 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reminiscence.' 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 reminiscence

1589, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for reminiscence

Time Traveler

The first known use of reminiscence was in 1589

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Statistics for reminiscence

Last Updated

4 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reminiscence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for reminiscence



English Language Learners Definition of reminiscence

: a story that someone tells about something that happened in the past
: the act of remembering or telling about past experiences


rem·​i·​nis·​cence | \ ˌre-mə-ˈni-sᵊns How to pronounce reminiscence (audio) \

Kids Definition of reminiscence

1 : the act of recalling or telling of a past experience
2 reminiscences plural : a story of a person's memorable experiences

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