[mem.o.ry] n, pl -ries [ME memorie, fr. MF memoire, fr. L memoria, fr. memor mindful; akin to OE gemimor well-known, Gk mermera care, Skt smarati he remembers] (14c) 1 a: the power or process of reproducing or recalling what has been learned and retained esp. through associative mechanisms b: the store of things learned and retained from an organism's activity or experience as evidenced by modification of structure or behavior or by recall and recognition
2. a: commemorative remembrance "erected a statue in ~ of the hero" b: the fact or condition of being remembered "days of recent ~" 3 a: a particular act of recall or recollection b: an image or impression of one that is remembered "fond memories of her youth" c: the time within which past events can be or are remembered "within the ~ of living men"
4. a: a device or a component of a device in which information esp. for a computer can be inserted and stored and from which it may be extracted when wanted b: capacity for storing information "four megabytes of ~"
5: a capacity for showing effects as the result of past treatment or for returning to a former condition--used esp. of a material (as metal or plastic) syn memory, remembrance, recollection, reminiscence mean the capacity for or the act of remembering, or the thing remembered. memory applies both to the power of remembering and to what is remembered "gifted with a remarkable memory" "that incident was now just a distant memory". remembrance applies to the act of remembering or the fact of being remembered "any remembrance of his deceased wife was painful". recollection adds an implication of consciously bringing back to mind often with some effort "after a moment's recollection he produced the name". reminiscence suggests the recalling of usu. pleasant incidents, experiences, or feelings from a remote past "recorded my grandmother's reminiscences of her Iowa girlhood".