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[mem-wahr, -wawr] /ˈmɛm wɑr, -wɔr/
a record of events written by a person having intimate knowledge of them and based on personal observation.
Usually, memoirs.
  1. an account of one's personal life and experiences; autobiography.
  2. the published record of the proceedings of a group or organization, as of a learned society.
a biography or biographical sketch.
Origin of memoir
1560-70; < French mémoire < Latin memoria; see memory
2a. journal, recollections, reminiscences. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for memoir
  • True, their memoirs often appear to be mere nostalgia, mere longing for a simpler age.
  • Actually my memoir is still in the idea stage.
  • Her new memoir plumbs the hard beauty of her home in Wyoming.
  • Her remarkable candor about her relationship with her daughter makes this an intense and fascinating memoir.
  • There are few men more richly gifted than was the subject of this memoir.
  • Like so many political memoirs, this is partly an exercise in settling scores.
  • So I wrote a memoir about all of our pets for my wife—stories of how their lives were woven into our lives.
  • Sometimes you finish a memoir and want to sentence the author to a long stint slinging hash in a diner.
  • Klein's story, like most memoirs, is a tale of redemption.
  • There was a memoir about this within the last 5-7 years or so
British Dictionary definitions for memoir


a biography or historical account, esp one based on personal knowledge
an essay or monograph, as on a specialized topic
(obsolete) a memorandum
Derived Forms
memoirist, noun
Word Origin
C16: from French, from Latin memoriamemory
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 memoir

early 15c., "written record," from Anglo-French memorie "note, memorandum, something written to be kept in mind" (early 15c., Old French memoire), from Latin memoria (see memory). Meaning "person's written account of his life" is from 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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