[ 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 memoirs

British Dictionary definitions for memoirs


/ (ˈmɛmwɑːz) /

pl n

a collection of reminiscences about a period, series of events, etc, written from personal experience or special sources
an autobiographical record
a collection or record, as of transactions of a society, etc


/ (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 memoirs
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper