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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for recollect

Synonyms: Verb (1)

Synonyms: Verb (2)

Antonyms: Verb (1)

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Jimin apologized before taking a breath to recollect himself. NBC News, 20 Sep. 2021 As the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics draw to a close today, many will recollect some of this year’s highlights and look ahead to the next games due to be held in Paris in a little under three years from now. Gus Alexiou, Forbes, 5 Sep. 2021 Mendoza's girlfriend, whom police also arrested but did not name, was intoxicated when she was arrested and couldn't recollect what happened other than someone had hit their car, according to police. Perry Vandell, The Arizona Republic, 16 Aug. 2021 Many recollect the ghastly smell of burning flesh discharged from the crematoriums; others recall Kristallnacht, that fateful overnight in 1938 that saw hundreds of synagogues and thousands of Jewish businesses destroyed by Nazi forces. Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, 20 May 2021 Perhaps the curio cabinet-effect reflects a desire to collect and recollect an essential American object Menand feels is in danger of being lost. Andy Lewis, Los Angeles Times, 20 Apr. 2021 The account offered him not just a space for his creative energy, but a chance to recollect and write some of his stories down for the first time. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 6 Apr. 2021 And Pesca’s failure to recollect, in the view of some Slate staffers, suggests that management didn’t properly address the situation with him. Washington Post, 26 Feb. 2021 Berger, in a deposition, didn’t recollect providing test data to Ohlin. Mike Hughlett, Star Tribune, 18 Sep. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for recollect

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The first known use of recollect was in 1559

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Last Updated

30 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Recollect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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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

Nglish: Translation of recollect for Spanish Speakers


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