View synonyms for memory


[ mem-uh-ree ]


, plural mem·o·ries.
  1. the mental capacity or faculty of retaining and reviving facts, events, impressions, etc., or of recalling or recognizing previous experiences.
  2. this faculty as possessed by a particular individual:

    to have a good memory.

  3. the act or fact of retaining and recalling impressions, facts, etc.; remembrance; recollection:

    to draw from memory.

  4. the length of time over which recollection extends:

    a time within the memory of living persons.

  5. a mental impression retained; a recollection:

    one's earliest memories.

  6. the reputation of a person or thing, especially after death; fame:

    a ruler of beloved memory.

  7. the state or fact of being remembered.
  8. a person, thing, event, fact, etc., remembered.
  9. commemorative remembrance; commemoration:

    a monument in memory of Columbus.

  10. the ability of certain materials to return to an original shape after deformation.
  11. Also called computer memory, Computers.
    1. the capacity of a computer to store information subject to recall.
    2. the components of the computer in which such information is stored.
  12. Rhetoric. the step in the classical preparation of a speech in which the wording is memorized.


/ ˈmɛmərɪ /


    1. the ability of the mind to store and recall past sensations, thoughts, knowledge, etc

      he can do it from memory

    2. the part of the brain that appears to have this function
  1. the sum of everything retained by the mind
  2. a particular recollection of an event, person, etc
  3. the time over which recollection extends

    within his memory

  4. commemoration or remembrance

    in memory of our leader

  5. the state of being remembered, as after death
  6. Also calledRAMmain storestore a part of a computer in which information is stored for immediate use by the central processing unit See also backing store virtual storage
  7. the tendency for a material, system, etc, to show effects that depend on its past treatment or history
  8. the ability of a material, etc, to return to a former state after a constraint has been removed


/ mĕmə-rē /

    1. The ability to remember past experiences or learned information, involving advanced mental processes such as learning, retention, recall, and recognition and resulting from chemical changes between neurons in several different areas of the brain, including the hippocampus. Immediate memory lasts for just a few seconds. Short-term memory stores information that has been minimally processed and is available only for a few minutes, as in remembering a phone number just long enough to use it. Short-term memory is transferred into long-term memory, which can last for many years, only when repeated use of the information facilitates neurochemical changes that allow it to be retained. The loss of memory because of disease or injury is called amnesia .
    2. The collection of information gained from past learning or experience that is stored in a person's mind.
    3. A piece of information, such as the mental image of an experience, that is stored in the memory.
    1. A part of a computer in which data is stored for later use.
    2. The capacity of a computer, chips, and storage devices to preserve data and programs for retrieval. Memory is measured in bytes.
  1. The capacity of a material, such as plastic or metal, to return to a previous shape or condition.
  2. The capacity of the immune system to produce a specific immune response to an antigen it has previously encountered.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of memory1

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English memorie, from Latin memoria, equivalent to memor “mindful, remembering” + -ia -y 3

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Word History and Origins

Origin of memory1

C14: from Old French memorie, from Latin memoria, from memor mindful

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Idioms and Phrases

see commit to memory ; in memory of .

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Example Sentences

Unlike the original Game Boy, the new console’s memory allows games to resume play at the exact same spot after a power interruption.

Various kinds of immune memory, including some with mechanisms similar to trained immunity, likely also helped invertebrates to survive.

Nasdaq’s nifty bounce yesterday, its biggest gains since April, seems like a distant memory as markets turn negative once again on Thursday.

From Fortune

Kornell compares our memory to water in a bucket that has a small leak.

Last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk demonstrated the latest iteration of Neuralink, his brain-implant startup that aims to one day help paralyzed people walk and even save memories or control computers with just a thought.

From Fortune

And there is definitely something to finding solace in food, familiarity, and memory.

That idea is often invoked in regards to the tricks memory plays, but I wonder how it might come into play in other ways.

The folk memory of medieval community life had been wiped out by the industrial revolution.

He has become the most radical pope in modern memory for his economic populism.

I had no memory of the other two, and that information was used to discredit my recollection of what had happened to me.

The memory of him shall not depart away, and his name shall be in request from generation to generation.

So intelligent were her methods that she doubtless had great influence in making the memory of his art enduring.

However great the power of Revival, there is no memory unless there was a First Impression.

First Impressions are usually vivid but the power to revive them is weak—a poor memory.

First Impressions are usually weak but the power to revive them is strong—still a poor memory.


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More About Memory

What does memory mean?

Memory is the ability to retain and recall past events or information in a person’s mind, as in Memory is possible thanks to the brain.

Memory can also mean an individual person’s ability to do this, as in I have a really good memory when it comes to people’s names.

Memory can also refer to the actual retained accounts themselves, as in I have a strong memory of last summer.

Memory is an amazing ability that humans (and other animals) have. It refers to the brain’s ability to store accounts or mental images of past events or information. In other words, to remember something.

For example, you use memory to be able to know what your phone number is whenever you are asked. At one time, you learned this information and your brain has kept it available for when you need it.

The verb memorize means to store something as a memory as in I memorized the words to my favorite song.

The noun memorial means something that is intended to preserve a memory of something else, as in We had lunch next to the war memorial outside the museum.

Example: I have to leave myself a lot of reminders because I have a really bad memory.

Where does memory come from?

The first records of memory come from around 1275. It ultimately comes from the Latin memor, meaning “mindful” or “remembering.” The verb remember shares this origin and means “to recall something from memory” or “to try and commit something to memory.”

Not every person’s memory works exactly the same. Some people are really good at remembering things, while others struggle at it. Head injuries and brain disorders, such as amnesia, can also drastically affect a person’s memory or cause memory loss, meaning a person has a much harder time storing memories than they once did.

Computer memory is the storage space for information and applications within the computer or connected to the computer. Unlike a human being, when a computer runs out of memory space, we can usually add more storage space or store the information externally, as on a separate hard drive.

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What are some other forms related to memory?

What are some synonyms for memory?

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

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

How is memory used in real life?

Memory is a common word that often refers to the ability to recall the past or to a person’s mental images of the past. It can also refer to a computer’s storage space for information and applications.


Try using memory!

Which of the following words would most likely be used to describe a memory?

A. present
B. past
C. future

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




memorizememory bank