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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
  • The collection of souvenir spoons in the jewelry stores has recently had two new ones added to its number.
  • Hammon, the students wrote, allowed the suicidal student to buy a knife from a souvenir shop.
  • My initial disappointment in this apparently not-so-divine souvenir quickly gives way to excitement.
  • Statuettes are produced at a nearby souvenir factory.
  • Other sources of inspiration to consider are a favorite souvenir textile, ceramic, or other art object.
  • Picture a new way to personalize souvenir snapshots.
  • The little souvenir stand closed this week, replaced by a much-enlarged, stylish gift shop.
  • Orchestra members take souvenir snapshots of the spread.
  • Thousands cross within hours, and souvenir hunters soon reduce the wall to rubble.
  • But the ducks, tokens of the fidelity and constancy that should grace married life, seemed an apt and pleasant souvenir.
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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