Definition of memoir in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmemˌwär/


1A historical account or biography written from personal knowledge or special sources: in 1924 she published a short memoir of her husband
More example sentences
  • Tolstoy set out to write a personal memoir of O'Brian, but it turned into a full biography.
  • Someone who writes a literary memoir, for example, is by necessity examining issues of self and identity.
  • I've visited the U.K. more than a few times, and read many British novels, memoirs, biographies, histories and news articles.
account, history, record, chronicle, narrative, story, portrayal, depiction, sketch, portrait, profile, biography, monograph
autobiography, life story, memories, recollections, reminiscences;
journal, diary
1.1 (memoirs) An autobiography or a written account of one’s memory of certain events or people.
Example sentences
  • The memoirs of public figures are almost always interesting.
  • As a rule, memoirs written by political figures do not remain memorable since the details supplied in them must have been widely publicised by the media long before they got into the book.
  • So when such a towering figure has his memoirs published, it is a landmark event.
2An essay on a learned subject: an important memoir on Carboniferous crustacea
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  • In 1943 Douglas was awarded the Bôcher Prize by the American Mathematical Society for his memoirs on the Plateau Problem.
2.1 (memoirs) The proceedings or transactions of a learned society: Memoirs of the Horticultural Society
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  • Memoirs and Proceedings, Chemical Society, London Volumes 2 and 3 were published between 1843 - 1848.



Pronunciation: /ˈmemwärəst/
Example sentences
  • I told her no; gave her the names of a few funny memoirists who have chronicled their experiences dealing with weight issues in the ‘dating game,’ and sent her on her way.
  • This, perhaps the greatest period of an already great life, has been sensitively written about by memoirists and historians.
  • Tobias Wolff is a short story writer, a memoirist, a novelist, a father, a husband, a jazz aficionado, a hiker upon remote mountain trails, a winner of literary awards, a neophyte pianist, and the mentor of many young writers.


Late 15th century (denoting a memorandum or record): from French mémoire (masculine), a special use of mémoire (feminine) 'memory'.

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Syllabification: mem·oir

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