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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.
1560-70; < French mémoire < Latin memoria; see memory
2a. journal, recollections, reminiscences. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples 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
1560s, from Anglo-Fr. memorie "note, memorandum, something written to be kept in mind" (early 15c.), from L. memoria (see memory). Meaning "person's written account of his life" is from 1670s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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