Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



The knuckles of two fists from left to right can be used as a mnemonic (noun sense 1) for the number of days in each month of the Gregorian calendar. Each knuckle represents a 31-day month, while a space between knuckles represents a 30-day (or, in the case of February, 28- or 29-day) month.

Etymology 1[edit]

Borrowed from Late Latin mnemonicus or its etymon Ancient Greek μνημονῐκός (mnēmonikós, pertaining to memory or remembrance, memorial) + English -ic (suffix meaning ‘of or pertaining to’ forming adjectives). Mνημονῐκός (Mnēmonikós) is derived from μνήμων (mnḗmōn, mindful, remembering) + -ῐκός (-ikós, suffix meaning ‘of or pertaining to’ forming adjectives); while mνήμων (mnḗmōn) is from μνάομαι (mnáomai, to be mindful, remember) (from Proto-Indo-European *men- (to mind; to think)) + -μων (-mōn, suffix forming adjectives and agent nouns).[1]


mnemonic (not comparable)

  1. Especially of a series of ideas, letters, words, etc.: intended to help in remembering.
    Synonyms: anamnestic, (archaic) memorial, (archaic) mnemonical
    Antonym: antimnemonic
  2. Of or relating to mnemonics (the study of techniques for remembering anything more easily).
  3. Of or relating to memory.
    Synonym: mnestic
Alternative forms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Noun sense 1 (“something used to help in remembering a thing”) is borrowed from Latin mnēmonicum (something used to help in remembering a thing), from Ancient Greek μνημονικόν (mnēmonikón, something used to help in remembering a thing), a noun use of the neuter form of μνημονῐκός (mnēmonikós, adjective): see etymology 1. Noun sense 3 (“synonym of mnemonics”) is borrowed from Late Latin mnemonica, a noun use of the feminine form of mnemonicus: see etymology 1.[1]


mnemonic (plural mnemonics)


Richard of York gave battle in vain” and “Roy G. Biv” are mnemonics to aid in remembering the colours of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

  1. Something (especially a series of ideas, letters, words, etc.) used to help in remembering a thing; a memory aid.
    Synonyms: aide-mémoire, (rare) mnemonicon
    • 2003, Alex Kimbell, chapter 3, in The Unbridgeable Divide: A Love Story, Market Harborough, Leicestershire: Matador, →ISBN, section I, page 54:
      Mr Avery was a great believer in mnemonics; he had one for every possible aspect of flying – which was as good a way as any for student pilots to familiarise themselves with their new environment, but unless used on a daily basis could also be dangerous, for there were so many of them.
  2. (computing) The human-readable, textual form of an assembly language instruction, not including operands.
  3. (obsolete) Synonym of mnemonics (the study of techniques for remembering anything more easily)
Derived terms[edit]
See also[edit]
  • crib (collection of quotes or references for use in speaking, for assembling a written document, or as an aid to a project of some sort)


  1. 1.0 1.1 mnemonic, n. and adj.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022; “mnemonic, n. and adj.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

Further reading[edit]