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memory

[mem-uh-ree]
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noun, 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, storage. 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.
  13. Cards. concentration(def 7).
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Origin of memory

1275–1325; Middle English memorie < Latin memoria, equivalent to memor mindful, remembering + -ia -y3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for memory

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It is a tribute to the memory and worth of one of his early friends at Eton.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • Some one has said of Mr. Gladstone that his memory was "terrible."

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • It was out of this anger, oddly enough, that the memory of the girl came to him.

  • It is contemplated to erect a monument, by subscription, to Mr. Fessenden's memory.

    Biographical Sketches

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • It was the music of climes where sorrow is but the memory of that which has been turned into joy.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald


British Dictionary definitions for memory

memory

noun plural -ries
    1. the ability of the mind to store and recall past sensations, thoughts, knowledge, etche 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 extendswithin his memory
  4. commemoration or remembrancein memory of our leader
  5. the state of being remembered, as after death
  6. Also called: RAM, main store, store a part of a computer in which information is stored for immediate use by the central processing unitSee 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
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Word Origin

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

n.

mid-13c., "recollection (of someone or something); awareness, consciousness," also "fame, renown, reputation," from Anglo-French memorie (Old French memoire, 11c., "mind, memory, remembrance; memorial, record") and directly from Latin memoria "memory, remembrance, faculty of remembering," noun of quality from memor "mindful, remembering," from PIE root *(s)mer- "to remember" (Sanskrit smarati "remembers," Avestan mimara "mindful;" Greek merimna "care, thought," mermeros "causing anxiety, mischievous, baneful;" Serbo-Croatian mariti "to care for;" Welsh marth "sadness, anxiety;" Old Norse Mimir, name of the giant who guards the Well of Wisdom; Old English gemimor "known," murnan "mourn, remember sorrowfully;" Dutch mijmeren "to ponder"). Meaning "faculty of remembering" is late 14c. in English.

I am grown old and my memory is not as active as it used to be. When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the things that never happened. It is sad to go to pieces like this, but we all have to do it. [Mark Twain, "Autobiography"]

Computer sense, "device which stores information," is from 1946. Related: Memories.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

memory in Medicine

memory

(mĕmə-rē)
n.
  1. The mental faculty of retaining and recalling past experience based on the mental processes of learning, retention, recall, and recognition.
  2. Persistent modification of behavior resulting from experience.
  3. The capacity of a material, such as plastic or metal, to return to a previous shape after deformation.
  4. The capability of the immune system to produce a specific secondary response to an antigen it has previously encountered.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

memory in Science

memory

[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. See more at hard disk RAM ROM.
  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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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with memory

memory

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