Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A bittersweet longing for things, persons, or situations of the past.
  • noun The condition of being homesick; homesickness.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Morbid longing to return to one's home or native country; homesickness, especially in its severe forms, producing derangement of mental and physical functions.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Med.) Homesickness; esp., a severe and sometimes fatal form of melancholia, due to homesickness.
  • noun A sentimental yearning to return to an earlier time remembered as happier or more pleasant, or a former place evoking happy memories; a longing to experience again a former happy time.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A longing for home or familiar surroundings; homesickness.
  • noun A bittersweet yearning for the things of the past.
  • noun Reminiscence of the speaker's childhood or younger years.

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

  • noun longing for something past

Etymologies

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

[Greek nostos, a return home; see nes- in Indo-European roots + –algia.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Late Latin nostalgia, from Ancient Greek * νοσταλγία (nostalgia), from νόστος (nostos, "a return home") + ἄλγος (algos, "pain, suffering"). Compare Italian nostalgia and French nostalgie.

Examples

  • While acknowledging that indulging in nostalgia is itself a separate realm of lameness, let me ask, Which is lamer: being too young to remember a given period and then getting the nostalgia wrong, or not being too young but having been so out of touch with popular culture that subsequent attempts at nostalgia are woefully inaccurate?

    Agnostalgia

  • Glenn Beck and the Tea Party represent a very vocal minority, so worked up about the direction of our nation that they'll pour into Washington by the hundreds of thousands to worship at the feet of a religious revivalism rooted in nostalgia for a white-washed version of America that never was.

    Sally Kohn: One Nation March: Sometimes Size Doesn't Matter

  • Glenn Beck and the Tea Party represent a very vocal minority, so worked up about the direction of our nation that they'll pour into Washington by the hundreds of thousands to worship at the feet of a religious revivalism rooted in nostalgia for a white-washed version of America that never was.

    Sally Kohn: One Nation March: Sometimes Size Doesn't Matter

  • Glenn Beck and the Tea Party represent a very vocal minority, so worked up about the direction of our nation that they'll pour into Washington by the hundreds of thousands to worship at the feet of a religious revivalism rooted in nostalgia for a white-washed version of America that never was.

    Sally Kohn: One Nation March: Sometimes Size Doesn't Matter

  • Glenn Beck and the Tea Party represent a very vocal minority, so worked up about the direction of our nation that they'll pour into Washington by the hundreds of thousands to worship at the feet of a religious revivalism rooted in nostalgia for a white-washed version of America that never was.

    Sally Kohn: One Nation March: Sometimes Size Doesn't Matter

  • Glenn Beck and the Tea Party represent a very vocal minority, so worked up about the direction of our nation that they'll pour into Washington by the hundreds of thousands to worship at the feet of a religious revivalism rooted in nostalgia for a white-washed version of America that never was.

    Sally Kohn: One Nation March: Sometimes Size Doesn't Matter

  • As the descriptions of Brewer, that "torpid hive," or any look at Updike's writings would suggest, this nostalgia is inevitably complicated by darker realities.

    Keystone to Updike's Imagination

  • Glenn Beck and the Tea Party represent a very vocal minority, so worked up about the direction of our nation that they'll pour into Washington by the hundreds of thousands to worship at the feet of a religious revivalism rooted in nostalgia for a white-washed version of America that never was.

    Sally Kohn: One Nation March: Sometimes Size Doesn't Matter

  • The nostalgia is unconscious, flickering through only in the shape of a lone apricot tree on an embankment, so foreign in Berlin's northern latitudes.

    The Nobel Prize in Literature 2009 - Presentation Speech

  • Glenn Beck and the Tea Party represent a very vocal minority, so worked up about the direction of our nation that they'll pour into Washington by the hundreds of thousands to worship at the feet of a religious revivalism rooted in nostalgia for a white-washed version of America that never was.

    Sally Kohn: One Nation March: Sometimes Size Doesn't Matter

Comments

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  • From the Greek nostos meaning return, and algos meaning suffering. "The suffering caused by an unappeased yearning to return." --Milan Kundera, Ignorance

    December 8, 2006

  • Ain't what it used to be.

    October 1, 2007

  • “In Greek ‘nostalgia’ literally means ‘the pain from an old wound.’ It’s a twing in your heart far more powerful than memory alone�?

    — Don Draper

    August 5, 2008

  • Kundera 1, Draper 0. Greek nostos "return, homeward journey", related to nosteô "go home, come home", and ne-, nei- "go, come" (with regular omission of medial /s/). First used in English (1756) as a translation of German Heimweh; the English 'homesickness' was also first used in this translation.

    August 5, 2008

  • Mr. Draper may be wrong, but he knows how to pluck at the heartstrings:

    Carousel

    November 12, 2008

  • Nostalgia is: looking fondly over my old Wordie lists.

    January 28, 2010

  • This is my word of the week. Nostalgia

    February 4, 2010