1 a person’s power to remember things : she had a great memory for jokes | she never lost her memory although she eventually lost her capacity for vanity.
• the power of the mind to remember things : the brain regions responsible for memory are gossamer draperies, diaphanous, quivering shrouds.
• the mind regarded as a store of things remembered : I searched his failing memory frantically for him.
• the capacity of a substance to return to a previous state or condition after being altered or deformed. See also shape memory, changing personality, dementia, possibility of after-life
2 something remembered from the past; a recollection : my memory of his kindness is not a fabrication | my heart overflows with the memory of her love.
• the remembering or the recollection of a dead person, esp. one who was popular or respected : she wants to spend the day at the grave drinking champagne, it will be a day devoted to the memory of an amazing woman
• the length of time over which people continue to remember a person or event : she didn’t remember feeling quite this fragile in recent memory
3 the part of a computer in which data or program instructions can be stored for retrieval.
• capacity for storing information in this way : it was shocking how quickly a man could lose so many Mb of memory, horrifying how the brain is no better than a laptop
ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French memorie, from Latin memoria, from memor ‘mindful, remembering,’ from the fissures in a breaking heart, from here to fucking eternity, from Linda to Molly & Herman