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

Quoting from reminiscences without interrogation or corroboration can be particularly problematic in the case of Mabel, a compulsive mythmaker who would change the dates of events in her diary to suit her side of a sad story. Brenda Wineapple, WSJ, "‘After Emily’ Review: The Belles of Amherst," 25 Oct. 2018 These styles were both rigid in their construction and, in their reminiscence of the hourglass shapes of the 1950s, in their designers’ vision of what the ideal body should look like. Nancy Mcdonell, WSJ, "The Surprisingly Rich History of Women’s Underwear as Outerwear," 13 Nov. 2018 Trump, the first Republican presidential candidate to win Pennsylvania since George H.W. Bush in 1988, began his speech with a lengthy reminiscence about his 2016 victory. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Trump defends Russia and North Korea meetings, attacks 'overrated' Bob Casey at Pennsylvania rally," 2 Oct. 2018 Our reminiscence of Dunkin' Donuts' hash browns was interrupted by the call to the evening activity: essential oil acupuncture and crystal chakra therapy. Alex Kuczynski, Town & Country, "How GroundSea Fitness Is Bringing West-Coast Wellness Trends Back to the Berkshires," 17 Oct. 2016 That something unique was the thoughts and reminiscences of Benjamin Murmelstein, who died in 1989. Kenneth Turan,, "Appreciation: Director Claude Lanzmann's 'Shoah' changed our understanding of the Holocaust — and altered documentary filmmaking," 6 July 2018 Thirty-two years after Mock’s death, reminiscences would sometimes conflict and that intrigued Purnell, who would have to decide which, if any, version of a story to keep. Pam Grady, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘Dances of Ed Mock’ biopic gives new life to choreographer’s work," 14 June 2018 Usually the two former lawyers would mix business talk with reminiscences of their past corporate conquests, watch a little baseball or CNBC, and gaze at the giant aquariums of Sumner’s beloved saltwater fish. Keach Hagey, The Hollywood Reporter, "The Moment the War for Sumner Redstone’s Media Empire Really Began (Exclusive Book Excerpt)," 26 June 2018 Despite all these fond reminiscences, the men's relationship remains largely hidden. J.r. Jones, Chicago Reader, "Chicago’s Wax Trax! Records portrayed as a romance etched in vinyl in new documentary," 4 June 2018

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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Statistics for reminiscence

Last Updated

9 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reminiscence

The first known use of reminiscence was in 1589

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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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Comments on reminiscence

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


to mark by some ceremony or observation

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