in memoriam

[ in muh-mawr-ee-uhm, -mohr- ]
/ ɪn məˈmɔr i əm, -ˈmoʊr- /
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adverb, preposition
in memory (of); to the memory (of); as a memorial (to): used on gravestones, in obituaries, etc. Abbreviation: in mem.
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Origin of in memoriam

Borrowed into English from Latin around 1840–50

Words nearby in memoriam

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does in memoriam mean?

In memoriam is a Latin phrase meaning “in memory of” or “as a memorial to.” It’s typically used in memorials to those who have died.

In memoriam is a common epitaph—the inscription on a gravestone or other monument. It’s also commonly used as a heading in obituaries.

Example: Those who have passed away in the past year are listed in a special section titled “In memoriam.”

Where does in memoriam come from?

The phrase in memoriam was borrowed directly from Latin into English. The first records of the use of in memoriam in English come from the mid-1800s.

One of the most notable uses of it is in the title of the poem In Memoriam A.H.H. by the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson, in which he mourns the death of his dear friend Arthur Henry Hallam. The poem ends with these famous lines: “’Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all.”

Today, you’re most likely to see the phrase inscribed on gravestones or in tributes to people who have died. The phrase often precedes slideshows at award ceremonies honoring those who have recently passed away. You might also see in memoriam during the closing credits of a movie or TV show as a tribute to a crew member who died. The phrase in memory of is used in the exact same way.

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What are some synonyms for in memoriam?

What are some words that share a root or word element with in memoriam

What are some words that often get used in discussing in memoriam?

How is in memoriam used in real life?

In memoriam is most commonly seen as an inscription or a heading that precedes a tribute of some kind.



Try using in memoriam!

Is in memoriam used correctly in the following sentence?

The in memoriam tribute at the Academy Awards honors industry members who died during the year.

How to use in memoriam in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for in memoriam

in memoriam
/ (ɪn mɪˈmɔːrɪəm) /

in memory of; as a memorial to: used in obituaries, epitaphs, etc

Word Origin for in memoriam

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for in memoriam

in memoriam
[ (in muh-mawr-ee-uhm) ]

A Latin phrase meaning “in memory of.” This phrase often precedes a name in obituaries and on tombstones.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.