Definitions

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

  • adj. Honoring or preserving the memory of another.
  • n. Something that honors or preserves the memory of another.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. serving to commemorate, e.g., a person or event
  • n. an object made to commemorate a person, mark an event, etc.
  • n. a postage stamp issued to commemorate, usually a person or event; also commonly applied to thematic (topical) stamp issues

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Tending or intended to commemorate.
  • n. something that commemorates, especially a postage stamp or coin having a design commemorating some event, person, institution, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to, or serving or intended for, commemoration.

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

  • n. an object (such as a coin or postage stamp) made to mark an event or honor a person
  • adj. intended as a commemoration

Etymologies

From commemorate. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • This year, though, the announcer couldn't quite get the word commemorative out.

    CNN Transcript Aug 28, 2008

  • The texts are often expressed in commemorative language such as "with this retablo I offer thanks" and usually give various details about the beneficiary and situation. 28 These votive offerings are created specifically to be put on display in the shrines of a particular virgin, saint, or Christ figure to publicize their supernatural powers, a process that promotes the reputation of the divine image and, in turn, that of the shrine and its keepers as well.

    Pestilence and Headcolds: Encountering Illness in Colonial Mexico

  • Christmas Island became an Australian Territory on 1 October 1958 under the Christmas Island Act. Fifty years on, this magnificent anniversary commemorative is being issued by The Perth Mint with a design celebrating the Island’s spectacular wildlife.

    The Perth Mint – New Product Releases : Coin Collecting News

  • Rome exulted over fallen Jerusalem, and struck coins commemorative of the hard won victory.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 8: Infamy-Lapparent

  • During my life at Yale, as well as during visits to various other American colleges, I had been painfully impressed by the lack of any development of that which may be called the commemorative or poetical element.

    Autobiography of Andrew Dickson White, Volume I

  • The new hairpins might be called commemorative: one, of which the decoration represents a British and a Japanese flag intercrossed, celebrates the Anglo-Japanese alliance; another represents an officer's cap and sword; and the best of all is surmounted by a tiny metal model of a battleship.

    The Romance of the Milky Way And Other Studies & Stories

  • The "sifting and winnowing plaque" refers to a commemorative plate found at the main entrance to Bascom Hall, a major campus building, which has inscribed upon it a quote from the 1894 report of the UW Board of Regents: "Whatever may be the limitations which trammel inquiry elsewhere, we believe that the great State University of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found."

    Brec Cooke: Washington Post, New York Times Fail on FOIA

  • If not exactly a holy alliance, it creates the kind of commemorative hybrid between commerce and captive audience that has been the dream of hucksters and holy men since the beginning of time.

    Thomas Lynch: Bamboozles, Sacred and Secular

  • Except, Fern, this is not science education, it's social science, and the goal is not to have children understand "six million" as a numerical concept but as a social one as specifically defined for a single event and, as you point out, its the horror of the event enumerated with the banality of the "commemorative" action that is so icky.

    Six million what

  • If they had, they might have noticed that in the second sentence the word "commemorative" modified the word "invitation."

    When Invitations Are Just Mementos

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