Definition of memory in English:


Line breaks: mem¦ory
Pronunciation: /ˈmɛm(ə)ri

noun (plural memories)

  • 1The faculty by which the mind stores and remembers information: I’ve a great memory for faces [mass noun]: the brain regions responsible for memory
    More example sentences
    • No problem there, I have a terrible memory for names so didn't even remember them five seconds after leaving the room.
    • She still has a great memory for all the old Irish songs and poems.
    • All creatures do need a memory for basic functioning and survival.
  • 1.1The mind regarded as a store of things remembered: he searched his memory frantically for an answer
    More example sentences
    • Whenever anyone glanced at him he searched his memory frantically to see if he recognised them.
    • He searched his memory and suddenly remembered a Sunday evening when he and Cam were seniors at Sacred Heart High School.
    • Williams searched his memory, trying to remember what he did in this situation eleven years ago.
    ability to remember, powers of recall, recall, powers of retention, retention, mind
  • 2Something remembered from the past: one of my earliest memories is of sitting on his knee [mass noun]: the mind can bury all memory of traumatic abuse
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    • I have no recollection of my past memories, except periodic flashbacks of my previous life.
    • What happened during that week was just a bad memory in the past.
    • Imagine groggily waking up in a strange house, surrounded by unfamiliar faces, with not a single memory of the past ten hours.
  • 2.1 [mass noun] The remembering or commemoration of a dead person: clubs devoted to the memory of Sherlock Holmes
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    • A candlelit vigil took place in Huyton last night, one week after the alleged assault, to honour the dead teenager's memory.
    • The memory of the dead is respected, by visitor and host alike.
    • I've instructed all agencies to honor their memory by treating the dead with the dignity and respect they deserve.
    commemoration, remembrance, honour, tribute, recognition, observance, respect
  • 2.2 [mass noun] The length of time over which a person or event continues to be remembered: the worst slump in recent memory
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    • After one of the most hectic holiday seasons in recent memory, many of us have settled in for equally hectic work schedules.
    • So here it is: the opening salvo in what looks to be the worst summer-movie season in recent memory.
    • But, even in adults, memory for recent events is transient unless it is refreshed by rehearsal.
  • 3The part of a computer in which data or program instructions can be stored for retrieval.
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    • During an initialization phase, an access code is stored in a memory of a computer system.
    • When the light pulse stops, its information is suspended and stored, just as information is stored in the memory of a computer.
    • A reconnaissance satellite, placed into orbit years ago, captures the entire scene in its computer memory.
    memory bank, store, cache, disk, RAM, ROM
  • 3.1 [mass noun] A computer’s capacity for storing information: the module provides 16Mb of memory
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    • There is a virtual hard drive available in the Internet with plenty of memory to store personal information.
    • The latest MP3 technology compresses all superfluous parts of a sound signal to reduce the amount of memory needed to store digital information.
    • Depending on the level, you will have different amounts of system memory in which to store your subroutines.


from memory

Without reading or referring to notes: each child was required to recite a verse from memory
More example sentences
  • Whether she was quoting from memory or reading from the open book beside the phone, I was impressed by the trouble she had taken.
  • Instead, he went to sit next to her at the table, watched her copying down her notes from memory.
  • As the verses flowed from memory, he closed his eyes, concentrating on the words and melody.

in memory of

Intended to honour and remind people of (a dead person): a prayer in memory of the deceased
More example sentences
  • In the cool, marble-floored interior women in saris lit hundreds of small oil lamps in memory of the dead.
  • In Westhoughton, young children read out the roll of honour and lit candles in memory of those who died.
  • Ceremonies in memory of the dead are held on the seventh and hundredth days after death.

take a trip (or walk) down memory lane

Indulge in pleasant or sentimental memories.
More example sentences
  • Mr. Karunakaran took a trip down memory lane, recalling his early days as an ordinary worker of the Indian National Congress, and then as a trade union leader before reaching the higher echelons of power, both in the State and at the Centre.
  • Reminiscing about long forgotten names, lost to many in Portlaoise, but not to the Marian Avenue residents, they took a trip down memory lane.
  • The old school bell rang once more as the Taugheen Young at Heart group took a trip down memory lane in a ‘Back to School’ special.


Middle English: from Old French memorie, from Latin memoria, from memor 'mindful, remembering'.

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