Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The mental faculty of retaining and recalling past experience.
  • n. The act or an instance of remembering; recollection: spent the afternoon lost in memory.
  • n. All that a person can remember: It hasn't happened in my memory.
  • n. Something remembered: pleasant childhood memories.
  • n. The fact of being remembered; remembrance: dedicated to their parents' memory.
  • n. The period of time covered by the remembrance or recollection of a person or group of persons: within the memory of humankind.
  • n. Biology Persistent modification of behavior resulting from an animal's experience.
  • n. Computer Science A unit of a computer that preserves data for retrieval.
  • n. Computer Science Capacity for storing information: two gigabytes of memory.
  • n. Statistics The set of past events affecting a given event in a stochastic process.
  • n. The capacity of a material, such as plastic or metal, to return to a previous shape after deformation.
  • n. Immunology The ability of the immune system to respond faster and more powerfully to subsequent exposure to an antigen.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The ability of an organism to record information about things or events with the facility of recalling them later at will.
  • n. A record of a thing or an event stored and available for later use by the organism.
  • n. The part of a computer that stores variable executable code or data (RAM) or unalterable executable code or default data (ROM).
  • n. The time within which past events can be or are remembered.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The faculty of the mind by which it retains the knowledge of previous thoughts, impressions, or events.
  • n. The reach and positiveness with which a person can remember; the strength and trustworthiness of one's power to reach and represent or to recall the past.
  • n. The actual and distinct retention and recognition of past ideas in the mind; remembrance
  • n. The time within which past events can be or are remembered.
  • n. Something, or an aggregate of things, remembered; hence, character, conduct, etc., as preserved in remembrance, history, or tradition; posthumous fame.
  • n. A memorial.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The mental capacity of retaining unconscious traces of conscious impressions or states, and of recalling these traces to consciousness with the attendant perception that they (or their objects) have a certain relation to the past; in a narrower sense, the power of such retention alone, the power or act of recalling being termed recollection.
  • n. The fact of retaining such mental impressions; remembrance; mental hold on the past; retrospect; recollection.
  • n. Length of time included in the conscious experience or observation of an individual, a community, or any succession of persons; the period of time during which the acquisition of knowledge is possible.
  • n. The state of being remembered; continued presence in the minds or thoughts of men; retained or perpetuated knowledge; posterior note or reputation: as, to celebrate the memory of a great event.
  • n. That which is remembered; anything fixed in or recalled to the mind; a mental impression; a reminiscence: as, pleasant memories of travel.
  • n. That which brings to mind; a memento or memorial; a remembrancer.
  • n. Commemoration; perpetuation of the knowledge of anything; a recalling to mind: as, a monument erected in memory of a person.
  • n. An act or ceremony of remembrance; a service for the dead: same as commemoration, 2 .
  • n. = Syn. 1-4. Memory, Recollection, Remembrance, Reminiscence. Memory is the general word for the faculty or capacity itself; recollection and remembrance are different kinds of exercise of the faculty; reminiscence, also, is used for the exercise of the faculty, but less commonly, and then it stands for the least energetic use of it, the matter seeming rather to be suggested to the mind. The correctness of the use of memory for that which is remembered has been disputed. The others are freely used for that which is remembered. In either sense, recollection implies more effort, more detail, and more union of objects in wholes, than remembrance. Reminiscence is used chiefly of past events, rarely of thoughts, words, or scenes, while recollection is peculiarly appropriate for the act of recalling mental operations. See remember.
  • n. Memory as mediated by kinesthetic images in the narrower sense.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an electronic memory device
  • n. something that is remembered
  • n. the cognitive processes whereby past experience is remembered
  • n. the area of cognitive psychology that studies memory processes
  • n. the power of retaining and recalling past experience

Etymologies

Middle English memorie, from Anglo-French, from Latin memoria, from memor, mindful.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman memorie, Old French memoire etc., from Latin memoria ("the faculty of remembering, remembrance, memory, a historical account"), from memor ("mindful, remembering"), related to Ancient Greek μνήμη (mneme, "memory") μέρμερος (mermeros, "anxious"), μέριμνα (merimna, "care, thought"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • What's surprising about this analysis is that it suggests that built in to common sense concepts of memory is a reliance on the existence of some kind of ˜memory trace™ as a continuous bridge across the temporal gap, causally connecting past and present.

    Memory

  • -- And not only must memory, if it is to be a good memory, omit the generally worthless, or trivial, or irrelevant, and supply the generally useful, significant, and relevant, but it must in some degree be a _specialized memory_.

    The Mind and Its Education

  • We new-born infants, without experience, were born with fear, with memory of fear; and _memory is experience_.

    The Jacket (Star-Rover)

  • Intel® GS45 Express Chipset with integrated 3D graphics, featuring Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD (Intel® GMA 4500MHD) with up to 1759 MB of Intel® Dynamic Video Memory Technology 5.0 (64 MB of dedicated video memory, up to 1695 MB of shared system memory*), supporting Microsoft® DirectX® 10

    www.hardwarezone.com.sg

  • Indeed in one of the very passages I have quoted in order to show that Mr. Romanes accepts the phenomena of heredity as phenomena of memory, he speaks of "heredity as playing an important part _in forming memory_ of ancestral experiences;" so that whereas I want him to say that the phenomena of heredity are due to memory, he will have it that the memory is due to the heredity, {236a} which seems to me absurd.

    Selections from Previous Works and Remarks on Romanes' Mental Evolution in Animals

  • These are not mechanisms of memory in any cognitive sense; the term memory here is used as a metaphor, implying only that the past history has a discernible influence on the present properties, but homeopaths believe that, through these or other mechanisms, water can form and retain some useable "memory" of the original medicinal substance

    Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium - Recent changes [en]

  • That's significant because analyzing or manipulating data in memory is much faster than retrieving it from a hard disk.

    Mating Grid And Cloud Software With Hardware

  • Doing positive things in memory is so very hard sometimes.

    Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway

  • The word memory evokes many things, different for each of us.

    Alan W. Silberberg: Memories Crowdsourced at U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

  • When we use the word memory to describe how our core relational beliefs develop, we refer to any past experience that influences the way we think, feel, behave, and relate.11 Though you may be sitting there thinking about your past experiences with your parents and trying to remember how they treated you, understand that the development of your core relational beliefs does not necessarily require that the experience be consciously “remembered.”

    God Attachment

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • See hauled comments.

    March 25, 2012

  • Don't ask me; I can't remember.

    May 20, 2009

  • Not too sure whether I was supposed to leave a comment here.

    May 15, 2009

  • I forget something old every day...

    May 15, 2009

  • I learn something new every day :)

    May 14, 2009

  • *past things or events that we remember.

    May 14, 2009

  • the important thing that everyone have

    May 14, 2009

  • Gedaechtnis, Erinnerung, Andenken

    oder auch ein Stueck im Musical Cats =)

    May 14, 2009

  • Steven Wright = comedic genius. That's right up there with "A little pain never hurt anyone". ...Can't remember who originally said that.

    April 2, 2009

  • "Whenever I think about the past, it just brings back so many memories."
    - Steven Wright.

    April 2, 2009

  • "'I'm missing you, too,' I told him, 'but where are you?'
    'I'm not exactly sure,' he replied with a confused look. 'Strictly speaking I don't think I'm anywhere - just here, alive in your memories.'
    'This is my memory? What's it like?'
    'Well,' replied Landen, 'there are some really outstanding parts but some pretty dreadful ones too - in that respect it's a little like Majorca. Would you care for some tea?'"
    - Jasper Fforde, 'Lost In A Good Book'.

    November 24, 2008

  • "The true art of memory is the art of attention." - Samuel Johnson

    June 5, 2008

  • Memory is not an accounting, but an argument.

    --Jan Cox

    May 22, 2007