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Alternative forms[edit]


From Anglo-Norman memorie, Old French memoire etc., from Latin memoria (the faculty of remembering, remembrance, memory, a historical account), from memor (mindful, remembering), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)mer- (to remember), related to Ancient Greek μνήμη (mnḗmē, memory) μέρμερος (mérmeros, anxious), μέριμνα (mérimna, care, thought), Old English mimor (mindful, remembering). More at mimmer. Doublet of memoir and memoria.


  • IPA(key): /ˈmɛm(ə)ɹi/
  • (pinpen merger) IPA(key): /ˈmɪm(ə)ɹi/
  • Hyphenation: mem‧o‧ry, mem‧ory
  • (file)


memory (countable and uncountable, plural memories)

  1. (uncountable) The ability of the brain to record information or impressions with the facility of recalling them later at will.
    Synonym: recall
    Memory is a facility common to all animals.
  2. A record of a thing or an event stored and available for later use by the organism.
    Synonyms: recall, recollection
    I have no memory of that event.
    My wedding is one of my happiest memories.
  3. (computing) The part of a computer that stores variable executable code or data (RAM) or unalterable executable code or default data (ROM).
    Synonym: (dated) core
    This data passes from the CPU to the memory.
    • 1987 July 27, Jerry Pournelle, “Law of Expanding Memory: Applications Will Also Expand Until RAM Is Full”, in InfoWorld, volume 9, number 30, InfoWorld Media Group Inc, page 46:
      My first microcomputer had 12K of memory. When I expanded to a full 64K, I thought I had all the memory I'd ever need. Hah. I know better now.
  4. The time within which past events can be or are remembered.
    in recent memory
    in living memory
  5. (attributive, of a material) Which returns to its original shape when heated
    memory metal
    memory plastic
  6. (obsolete) A memorial.
  7. (zoology, collective, rare) A term of venery for a social group of elephants, normally called a herd.


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