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memento

[muh-men-toh] /məˈmɛn toʊ/
noun, plural mementos, mementoes.
1.
an object or item that serves to remind one of a person, past event, etc.; keepsake; souvenir.
2.
anything serving as a reminder or warning.
3.
(initial capital letter, italics) Roman Catholic Church. either of two prayers in the canon of the Mass, one for persons living and the other for persons dead.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin mementō, imperative of meminisse to remember
Can be confused
memento, momentum.
Usage note
Memento is sometimes spelled momento, perhaps by association with moment. The word is actually related to remember. One of its earliest meanings was “something that serves to warn.” The meaning “souvenir” is a recent development: The stone animal carvings are mementos of our trip to Victoria. Momento is considered by many to be a misspelling, but it occurs so frequently in edited writing that some regard it as a variant spelling rather than an error.

memento mori

[muh-men-toh mawr-ahy, mohr-ahy, mawr-ee, mohr-ee; for 1 also Latin me-men-toh moh-ree] /məˈmɛn toʊ ˈmɔr aɪ, ˈmoʊr aɪ, ˈmɔr i, ˈmoʊr i; for 1 also Latin mɛˈmɛn toʊ ˈmoʊ ri/
noun, plural memento mori for 2.
1.
(italics) Latin. remember that you must die.
2.
an object, as a skull, serving as a reminder of death or mortality.
Origin
1585-95; < Latin mementō morī
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for memento
  • But then, neither a final line of dialogue nor a childhood memento would.
  • The idea was to include a small memento for the mission.
  • She says that giving other parents a memento of what they lost has helped alleviate her loss.
  • It may be depressing at times, but it is not a tragic memento.
  • Unlike the plaque, this shirt isn't a cherished memento from his childhood.
  • Think of something you can give that will be useful and/or valuable as a memento.
  • Don't omit a signature on a sentimental memento without a price tag.
  • He wanted her to take some pictures of him, as a memento of how handsome he was despite his illness.
  • He didn't wash that sweatshirt, because when you've helped one set of alien robots defeat another, you need a memento.
  • It's a memento of a magical night, but also the beginning of the end of their relationship.
British Dictionary definitions for memento

memento

/mɪˈmɛntəʊ/
noun (pl) -tos, -toes
1.
something that reminds one of past events; souvenir
2.
(RC Church) either of two prayers occurring during the Mass
Word Origin
C15: from Latin, imperative of meminisse to remember

memento mori

/ˈmɔːriː/
noun
1.
an object, such as a skull, intended to remind people of the inevitability of death
Word Origin
C16: Latin: remember you must die
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for memento
n.

c.1400, "Psalm cxxxi in the Canon of the Mass" (which begins with the Latin word Memento and in which the dead are commemorated), from Latin memento "remember," imperative of meminisse "to remember, recollect, think of, bear in mind," a reduplicated form, related to mens "mind" (see mind (n.)). Meaning "reminder, object serving as a warning" is from 1580s; sense of "keepsake" is first recorded 1768.

memento mori

n.

"reminder of death," 1590s, Latin, literally "remember that you must die."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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