[ mem-wahr, -wawr ]
/ ˈmɛm wɑr, -wɔr /


a record of events written by a person having intimate knowledge of them and based on personal observation.
Usually memoirs.
  1. an account of one's personal life and experiences; autobiography.
  2. the published record of the proceedings of a group or organization, as of a learned society.
a biography or biographical sketch.

Nearby words

  1. memling, hans,
  2. memnon,
  3. memnonia,
  4. memnonian,
  5. memo,
  6. memoirist,
  7. memoirs,
  8. memorabilia,
  9. memorabiliast,
  10. memorability

Origin of memoir

1560–70; < French mémoire < Latin memoria; see memory

2a. journal, recollections, reminiscences. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for memoir

British Dictionary definitions for memoir


/ (ˈmɛmwɑː) /


a biography or historical account, esp one based on personal knowledge
an essay or monograph, as on a specialized topic
obsolete a memorandum
Derived Formsmemoirist, noun

Word Origin for memoir

C16: from French, from Latin memoria memory

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

Word Origin and History for memoir



early 15c., "written record," from Anglo-French memorie "note, memorandum, something written to be kept in mind" (early 15c., Old French memoire), from Latin memoria (see memory). Meaning "person's written account of his life" is from 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper