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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.
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 souvenirs
  • There was even a truck selling space program souvenirs.
  • Looters ransacked the museum's gift shop, making off with souvenirs and gold jewelry.
  • If you're looking for souvenirs to bring back, the rose oil is wonderful.
  • They would make splendid souvenirs, and he has so many he would never miss them.
  • You'll see his coronation outfits and even souvenirs from the coronation that never happened.
  • Some missing pieces were probably snipped out for souvenirs.
  • He has furnished his cramped office clubhouse-style, with sports paraphernalia and souvenirs.
  • These photos have the appearance of grotesque souvenirs.
  • In some cases, spectators rummaged through the leftover ashes searching for grim souvenirs.
  • The island features a gallery in the center where visitors can view maps and receive free maps and other digital souvenirs.
British Dictionary definitions for souvenirs


/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 souvenirs



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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