[ muh-men-toh, moh- ]
/ məˈmɛn toʊ, moʊ- /
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noun, plural mo·men·tos, mo·men·toes.
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usage note for momento

See memento.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does momento mean?

A momento is a reminder of something, especially a past event or time. It most often refers to a keepsake or a souvenir.

Momento is an alternate spelling of memento. It is sometimes considered a misspelling, but it is commonly used enough to be considered a variant. A momento can also refer to a warning. It is sometimes seen in the Latin phrase memento mori, but in this case it should be spelled memento, since it uses the Latin spelling.

Example: These traditional masks are momentos of our trip to Guatemala.

Where does momento come from?

The spelling momento has been in use since at least the 1600s. As a variant of memento, it may have been influenced by the word moment (momentos are often reminders of a moment in time). But the original spelling memento (first recorded around 1400) is derived from the Latin mementō, which is a form of the verb meminisse, meaning “to remember.” (The words remember and memory have related roots.)

Momento often refers to things like souvenirs brought back from a trip, but the word often implies that they are special in some way, especially because they are a reminder of a special time in one’s life. Momentos aren’t always souvenirs or things that are bought. They can be old letters, photos—anything that reminds you of something you want to remember.

Sometimes, though, momento can refer to a warning or a reminder of something you’d rather forget. The Latin phrase memento mori refers to an object that serves as a reminder of death or mortality. It literally means “remember that you must die.” The phrase is often used in the discussion of such objects depicted in works of art. If you see a skull in a painting, for example, it’s most likely a memento mori.

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What are some other forms related to momento?

  • memento (primary spelling)
  • momentos (plural)
  • momentoes (plural)

What are some synonyms for momento?

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


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

How is momento used in real life?

Momento is typically used to refer not just to keepsakes but to special ones with sentimental value—cherished objects that remind you of special times. The spelling memento is more common.



Try using momento!

Is momento used correctly in the following sentence?

I keep this baseball as a momento from when my dad took me to the game as a kid.

How to use momento in a sentence