Meaning of MEMORY in English

I. ˈmem(ə)rē, -ri noun

( -es )

Etymology: Middle English memorie, from Middle French memorie, memoire, from Latin memoria, from memor mindful + -ia -y; akin to Old English ge mimor well-known, mimorian to remember, Middle Dutch mimeren to muse, brood, Latin mora delay, Old Irish airmert prohibition, Greek mermēra trouble, Sanskrit smarati he remembers; basic meaning: to remember


a. archaic : a ceremony of commemoration : a service for the dead

b. obsolete : a historical or biographical record

c. obsolete : memorial , memento



(1) : the power or process of reproducing or recalling what has been learned and retained especially through nonconscious associative mechanisms : conscious or unconscious evocation of things past

semantic reception is associated with great use of memory — Norbert Wiener

seemed lost in thought or memory — E.A.McCourt

in memory , one images or reproduces his whole state of mind on the remembered occasion — Richard Taylor

(2) : this power regarded as vested in an individual : an individual's capacity for reproducing or recalling what has been learned and retained

has a good memory for faces

rely on the faulty memory of a cross section of people — S.L.Payne

his memory annoyed him … it did not work willingly any more — Stuart Cloete

(3) : the process of reproducing or recalling what has been learned as manifested in some special way or as associated with some bodily process

visual memory

muscular memory

b. : persistent modification of structure or of behavior resulting from an organism's activity or from its passively acquired experience


(1) : the totality of what has been learned and retained especially as evidenced by recall and recognition

drew on his memory to supply the needed names

even birds and animals have an ancestral memory — Horizon

(2) : the function of memory regarded as a compartment or chamber in which images, perceptions, or learning are stored

filling their memory with a lumber of words — R.L.Stevenson

the invisible storehouse in nothingness, called memory — Walter Sorell & Denver Lindley

retain in their memory the preceding movements — George Balanchine

a richly stored memory



(1) : commemorative remembrance

a statue erected in memory of the hero

has been held in memory in Ireland — Maxwell Nurnberg & Morris Rosenblum

a local museum dedicated to the memory of the celebrity — American Guide Series: Maine

(2) : a person or thing held in commemorative remembrance

his deeds are the country's proudest memories

b. : the fact or condition of being remembered

memory of such upheavals goes back to remote antiquity

persecutions which were of recent memory — K.S.Latourette


a. : a particular act of recalling something learned or experienced : the fact or a condition of recalling : remembrance , recollection , recall

woke with … complete memory of where she had been — Pearl Buck

have no memory of that incident

recited the poem from memory


(1) : an image, impression, or other mental trace of someone or something known or experienced : the content of something remembered

my first memory is one of being held up to a window — George Dangerfield

the memory of his voice as distinct in her mind as it ever had been in her ear — Glenway Wescott

pleasant memories of an Italian summer

the memory of the captain's wife had not left him — Carson McCullers

memories of the Japanese occupation … created a heritage of ill will — R.H.Fifield

have written down their memory … of one such occasion — F.I.Cobb

made the town's isolation a memory — American Guide Series: Texas

the course is a memory and a mark is no longer even a ghost — Norman Nathan

the depression is only a bad memory

(2) : the total impression or generalized image of a person preserved in remembrance, history, or tradition : posthumous opinion

this ruler left behind him golden memories

a prince of glorious memory

(3) : the character, personality, or achievements of a person as preserved in remembrance

the man whose memory the Royal Irish Academy honors — Gearoid O'Sullivan

his memory recalled the most wonderful and exciting … adventures — R.H.Davis

hates her memory and all other women — Lucy M. Montgomery

c. : the time within which past events can be or are remembered

within the memory of living men

5. : concentration 5


a. : a component in an electronic computing machine (as a computer) in which information (as data or program instructions) may be inserted and stored and from which it may be extracted when wanted

b. : a device external to a computer for the insertion, storage, and extraction of information


a. : a capacity for showing effects recognized as the result of past treatment — used especially of materials

the wire begins to turn in the other direction corresponding to the first twisting — the memory of the recent short-term handling has been obliterated by that of the more remote but longer lasting and therefore more impressive one — Bernhard Gross

b. : a capacity for returning to a former condition (as after being stretched) — used especially of a material

the memory will cause the material to resume the shape it had when you purchased it — Road Magazine


remembrance , recollection , reminiscence , mind , souvenir : memory applies both to the faculty of remembering and to what is remembered, sometimes remembered dearly or cherished

a very good memory

a memory training course

it was the merest memory now, vague and a little sweet, like the remembrance of some exceptional spring day — John Galsworthy

remembrance can be the same as memory but more often refers to the act of remembering and usually to a particular act of remembering especially something pleasant or cherished in memory, or it may apply to the state of being remembered

the only moments I've lived my life to the full and that live in remembrance unfaded — W.W.Gibson

the vivid remembrance of an almost identical setting one evening — Henry Miller

the remembrance of things past — Shakespeare

the remembrance of the event always brought a pang of regret

recollection is like remembrance but carries a strong suggestion of more voluntary and sometimes effortful recalling to mind, and it may apply to the thing remembered in this way

they have a tendency to forget the facts of the present in their fond recollection of the past — S.M.Crothers

you ask me to put down a few recollections of your father — W.E.H.Lecky

reminiscence may refer to remembrance of something long past, especially as remembered casually and accidentally; it is closely synonymous with recollection in references to what is remembered

would use all the techniques of modern psychology in his analyses of the subconscious; the phenomena of involuntary reminiscence fascinate him — B.M.Woodbridge

the author's own reminiscences of childhood and youth are a good deal less pretentious and more amusing than this model — Times Literary Supplement

mind in this sense commonly appears only in a few idiomatic phrases

to keep in mind

out of sight, out of mind

souvenir may still be used as a synonym of memory

then she carefully restored them, her mind full of souvenirs newly awakened — Arnold Bennett

II. noun

: capacity for storing information

64 megabytes of memory

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.