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[muh-mawr-ee-uh l, -mohr-] /məˈmɔr i əl, -ˈmoʊr-/
something designed to preserve the memory of a person, event, etc., as a monument or a holiday.
a written statement of facts presented to a sovereign, a legislative body, etc., as the ground of, or expressed in the form of, a petition or remonstrance.
preserving the memory of a person or thing; commemorative:
memorial services.
of or relating to the memory.
Origin of memorial
1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin memoriāle, noun use of neuter of Latin memoriālis for or containing memoranda. See memory, -al1
Related forms
memorially, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for memorial
  • memorial exhibitions are not usually the happiest of occasions.
  • She gave it to the monastery as a memorial to her deceased husband.
  • The place is now a memorial park, but one that struck me as distinctly spooky.
  • Makes more sense that he died up on the mountain and his people went back in summer to create the memorial.
  • We left a little memorial card and some flowers anyway.
  • He is more likely to want them bound and preserved, a memorial to his personal achievement.
  • There is a focus, both in the museum and in the memorial peace park which surrounds it, on the youngest casualties.
  • At the video's end, a memorial sequence ticks off the untimely demise of many of the participants.
  • In the next few years, forward-thinking memorial shops began to adopt laser engraving.
  • The soft-spoken chaplain also oversees private memorial services where he plays guitar and recites a few prayers.
British Dictionary definitions for memorial


serving to preserve the memory of the dead or a past event
of or involving memory
something serving as a remembrance
a written statement of facts submitted to a government, authority, etc, in conjunction with a petition
an informal diplomatic paper
Derived Forms
memorially, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin memoriāle a reminder, neuter of memoriālis belonging to remembrance
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 memorial

late 14c., "memorable, excellent; remembered, committed to memory," from Old French memorial "mindful of, remembering," from Latin memorialis (adj.) "of or belonging to memory," from memoria "memory" (see memory).


late 14c., "fame, renown, reputation," also "commemorative gesture, monument, or rite;" in general, "something by which the memory of a person, thing, or event is preserved," from Old French memorial "record, report," and directly from Late Latin memoriale "a memorial," noun use of neuter of Latin memorialis (adj.) "of or belonging to memory," from memoria "memory" (see memory). Meaning "memorial act, commemoration" is from mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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