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[no-stal-juh, -jee-uh, nuh-] /nɒˈstæl dʒə, -dʒi ə, nə-/
a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one's life, to one's home or homeland, or to one's family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time:
a nostalgia for his college days.
something that elicits or displays nostalgia.
Origin of nostalgia
1770-80; < New Latin < Greek nóst(os) a return home + -algia -algia
Related forms
nostalgic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for nostalgia
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The nostalgia filled her up like a balloon expanding in her chest.

    Makers Cory Doctorow
  • Somehow, sitting in the dusky Tombs didn't seem to help their nostalgia.

    Ade's Fables George Ade
  • nostalgia in her cruel equipment carries a scented phantom apple.

  • Andr she considered the outcome of this feeling of nostalgia.

  • It was worth a bad quarter of an hour from nostalgia to get a glimpse of home, after the horror we had just left.

British Dictionary definitions for nostalgia


/nɒˈstældʒə; -dʒɪə/
a yearning for the return of past circumstances, events, etc
the evocation of this emotion, as in a book, film, etc
longing for home or family; homesickness
Word Origin
C18: New Latin (translation of German Heimweh homesickness), from Greek nostos a return home + -algia
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 nostalgia

1770, "severe homesickness" (considered as a disease), Modern Latin (cf. French nostalgie, 1802), coined 1668 by Johannes Hofer, as a rendering of German heimweh, from Greek algos "pain, grief, distress" (see -algia) + nostos "homecoming," from PIE *nes- "to return safely home" (cf. Old Norse nest "food for a journey," Sanskrit nasate "approaches, joins," German genesen "to recover," Gothic ganisan "to heal," Old English genesen "to recover"). Transferred sense (the main modern one) of "wistful yearning for the past" first recorded 1920.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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nostalgia in Medicine

nostalgia nos·tal·gia (nŏ-stāl'jə, nə-)

  1. A bittersweet longing for things, persons, or situations of the past.

  2. The condition of being homesick; homesickness.

nos·tal'gic (-jĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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