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[mem-uh-ree] /ˈmɛm ə ri/

noun, plural memories.
the mental capacity or faculty of retaining and reviving facts, events, impressions, etc., or of recalling or recognizing previous experiences.
this faculty as possessed by a particular individual:
to have a good memory.
the act or fact of retaining and recalling impressions, facts, etc.; remembrance; recollection:
to draw from memory.
the length of time over which recollection extends:
a time within the memory of living persons.
a mental impression retained; a recollection:
one’s earliest memories.
the reputation of a person or thing, especially after death; fame:
a ruler of beloved memory.
the state or fact of being remembered.
a person, thing, event, fact, etc., remembered.
commemorative remembrance; commemoration:
a monument in memory of Columbus.
the ability of certain materials to return to an original shape after deformation.
Also called computer memory, storage. Computers.

Rhetoric. the step in the classical preparation of a speech in which the wording is memorized.
Cards. (def 7).
noun (pl) -ries

the sum of everything retained by the mind
a particular recollection of an event, person, etc
the time over which recollection extends: within his memory
commemoration or remembrance: in memory of our leader
the state of being remembered, as after death
Also called RAM, main store, store. a part of a computer in which information is stored for immediate use by the central processing unit See also backing store, virtual storage
the tendency for a material, system, etc, to show effects that depend on its past treatment or history
the ability of a material, etc, to return to a former state after a constraint has been removed

mid-13c., “recollection (of someone or something); awareness, consciousness,” also “fame, renown, reputation,” from Anglo-French memorie (Old French memoire, 11c., “mind, memory, remembrance; memorial, record”) and directly from Latin memoria “memory, remembrance, faculty of remembering,” noun of quality from memor “mindful, remembering,” from PIE root *(s)mer- “to remember” (Sanskrit smarati “remembers,” Avestan mimara “mindful;” Greek merimna “care, thought,” mermeros “causing anxiety, mischievous, baneful;” Serbo-Croatian mariti “to care for;” Welsh marth “sadness, anxiety;” Old Norse Mimir, name of the giant who guards the Well of Wisdom; Old English gemimor “known,” murnan “mourn, remember sorrowfully;” Dutch mijmeren “to ponder”). Meaning “faculty of remembering” is late 14c. in English.

I am grown old and my memory is not as active as it used to be. When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the things that never happened. It is sad to go to pieces like this, but we all have to do it. [Mark Twain, “Autobiography”]

Computer sense, “device which stores information,” is from 1946. Related: Memories.

memory mem·o·ry (měm’ə-rē)


These days, usually used synonymously with Random Access Memory or Read-Only Memory, but in the general sense it can be any device that can hold data in machine-readable format.


Read Also:

  • Memory address space

    architecture 1. Any part of a processor’s address space that is occupied by memory. 2. The range of addresses seen by a memory device relative to the base address at which it is mapped into the processor’s address space. (1999-11-01)

  • Memory-bank

    noun 1. the complete records, archives, or the like of an organization, country, etc. 2. the total of a person’s memories or recollections. 3. (def 1).

  • Memory-card

    noun, Digital Technology. 1. a very small, portable electronic device for flash-memory data storage, as in a digital camera, cell phone, or digital media player.

  • Memory-cell

    noun, Immunology. 1. any small, long-lived lymphocyte that has previously encountered a given antigen and that on reexposure to the same antigen rapidly initiates the immune response (memory T cell) or proliferates and produces large amounts of specific antibody (memory B cell) the agent of lasting immunity. A cell in the immune system that, when […]

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