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[soo-vuh-neer, soo-vuh-neer] /ˌsu vəˈnɪər, ˈsu vəˌnɪər/
a usually small and relatively inexpensive article given, kept, or purchased as a reminder of a place visited, an occasion, etc.; memento.
a memory.
Origin of souvenir
1765-75; < French, noun use of (se) souvenir to remember < Latin subvenīre to come to mind, equivalent to sub- sub- + venīre to come
1. reminder, keepsake, token. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for souvenir
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • souvenir d'lise Vardon, creamy-white, centre yellowish, very large and full; a splendid rose.

    The Book of Roses Francis Parkman
  • Wiggle appeared to claim the locust as a souvenir of the scout's magic.

    Pee-wee Harris Percy Keese Fitzhugh
  • She was still smiling distantly at him, but that smile was more of a souvenir than a reality.

    The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Vicente Blasco Ibanez
  • I'd like to keep it for a souvenir, but I'm afraid you need it!

    Alice Adams Booth Tarkington
  • In some pears, as souvenir dEspren, there are bud-like projections on the stem.

    The Pears of New York U. P. Hedrick
British Dictionary definitions for souvenir


/ˌsuːvəˈnɪə; ˈsuːvəˌnɪə/
an object that recalls a certain place, occasion, or person; memento
verb (transitive)
(Austral & NZ, euphemistic, slang) to steal or keep (something, esp a small article) for one's own use; purloin
Word Origin
C18: from French, from (se) souvenir to remember, from Latin subvenīre to come to mind, from sub- up to + venīre to come
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 souvenir

1775, "a remembrance or memory," from French souvenir (12c.), from Old French noun use of souvenir (v.) "to remember, come to mind," from Latin subvenire "come to mind," from sub- "up" (see sub-) + venire "to come" (see venue). Meaning "token of remembrance, memento" is first recorded 1782.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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