memory


memory
memory, remembrance, recollection, reminiscence, mind, souvenir are comparable though not wholly synonymous terms since all involve the ideas of remembering and of being remembered.
Memory applies chiefly to the power or function of remembering what has been experienced or learned; in this sense it suggests the power to reproduce images of what is no longer before one, to retain some-thing (as words, ideas, or skills) that has been learned, and to recognize and identify something previously known
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he has a remarkably good memory for names

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her memory . . . went slipping back upon the golden days— Tennyson

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Memory often occurs in the sense of something remembered either as an aggregate or as a single item. More than the other words memory as used in this sense suggests a keeping in mind rather than a bringing back and often, therefore, a treasuring as something intimate or personal
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a present moment of comfortable reality was worth a decade of memoriesHardy

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it was the merest memory now, vague and a little sweet— Galsworthy

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you must have had a charming evening ... if I may judge from the way you have kept the memory green— Conrad

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Remembrance applies primarily to the act or the process, as distinguished from the faculty, power, or function, of remembering
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the remembrance of all that made life dear pierced me to the core— Hudson

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Roman soldiers . . . keep the restless Jews in remembrance of their provincial status— Douglas

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as April's green endures; or will endure like her remembrance of awakened birds— Stevens

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Remembrance also denotes the state or fact of being kept in the memory
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moments . . . that live again in remembranceGibson

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our literature is going to be our most perdurable claim on man's remembrance—Quiller-Couch

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Recollection often takes the place of remembrance but it may carry a strong suggestion of more voluntary and sometimes even more effortful recalling to mind often of something forgotten or for long unconsidered
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he looked . .. alarmed; but with a moment's recollection and a returning smile, replied— Austen

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half a word fixed upon or near the spot, is worth a cartload of recollectionGray

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there came to him a slight uneasiness, a movement of the memory, a distant recollection of something, somewhere, he had seen before— Dahl

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But recollection is quite as often used of something remembered, especially as the result of conscious effort
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vivid indeed is my recollection of our halts before shaded homesteads, our protracted and usually successful parleys with lean housewives, hungry for conversation— Grandgent

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carried away from Casablanca an unpleasant recollection of indignities to which he believed he had been subjected— Funk

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Reminiscence carries a stronger implication of recovery through retrospection than any of the other terms. Like remembrance and recollection it denotes either the act or the process of remembering but it further suggests the recollection of what has been long unremembered, especially because it belongs to one's remote past
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the old man spent hour after hour indulging in reminiscence

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after another quarter of an hour of reminiscence they had got around to the things that had happened to each of them since they had last met— Mary Austin

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spurred into reminiscence . . . revealed a strange tale told to him years earlier— Rippin

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The term is often used in place of recollection in the concrete sense where what is remembered serves as a contribution to biography, an autobiography, or a history
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the author's own reminiscences of childhood and youth— Times Lit. Sup.

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or is recalled from the past in conversation or in writing by an aging or aged person
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enjoy the reminiscences of the old veterans

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or is a phrase, a passage, a thought, or a custom that is so like one found in an earlier writer or people as to be regarded as an unconscious imitation or repetition or a survival
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the young poet's best phrases are reminiscences of Keats

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reminiscences of medieval pageants in modern carnivals

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here and there are to be found the reminiscences of Rimski-Korsakov's mannerisms— Sargeant

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Mind (see also MIND 2) is found in the sense here considered chiefly in certain idiomatic phrases where it means either the entity (as distinct from the function) which stores up what is remembered
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I shall keep your need in mind

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out of sight, out of mind

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or the power to remember
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like . . . assorted autocrats since time out of mind, always referred to himself in the third person— Pynchon

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Souvenir, which more commonly denotes a material memento, may sometimes replace memory
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then she carefully restored them, her mind full of souvenirs newly awakened— Bennett

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Analogous words: *mind, intellect, soul, intelligence, brain, wit: remembering, minding, recalling, reminding (see REMEMBER): awareness, consciousness, cognizance (see corresponding adjectives at AWARE)
Antonyms: oblivion

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

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  • memory — [mem′ə rē, mem′rē] n. pl. memories [ME memorie < OFr < L memoria < memor, mindful, remembering < IE * mimoro , redupl. of base * (s)mer , to remember, recall > MERIT] 1. the power, act, or process of recalling to mind facts… …   English World dictionary

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