memory[mem′ə rē, mem′rē]
- The definition of memory is the power of the brain to recall past experiences or information.
An example of memory is someone remembering the date for their wedding anniversary.
- the power, act, or process of recalling to mind facts previously learned or past experiences
- the total of what one remembers
- a person, thing, happening, or act remembered
- the length of time over which remembering extends: a happening within the memory of living men
- commemoration or remembrance: in memory of his father
- the fact of being remembered; posthumous reputation
- plastic memory
- a device in a computer, guidance system, etc., designed to accept, store, and recall information or instructions; specif., random-access memory
- storage or storage capacity as of a computer, disk, etc.
Origin of memoryMiddle English memorie ; from Old French ; from Classical Latin memoria ; from memor, mindful, remembering ; from Indo-European an unverified form mimoro-, reduplicated, reduplication of base an unverified form (s)mer-, to remember, recall from source merit
- The mental faculty of retaining and recalling past experience.
- The act or an instance of remembering; recollection: spent the afternoon lost in memory.
- All that a person can remember: It hasn't happened in my memory.
- Something that is remembered: pleasant childhood memories.
- The fact of being remembered; remembrance: dedicated to their parents' memory.
- The period of time covered by the remembrance or recollection of a person or group of persons: within the memory of humankind.
- Computers a. A unit of a computer that preserves data for retrieval.b. Capacity for storing information: two gigabytes of memory.
- Statistics The set of past events affecting a given event in a stochastic process.
- The capacity of a material, such as plastic or metal, to return to a previous shape after deformation.
- Immunology The ability of the immune system to respond faster and more powerfully to subsequent exposure to an antigen.
Origin of memoryMiddle English memorie, from Anglo-French, from Latin memoria, from memor, mindful; see (s)mer-1 in Indo-European roots.
(countable and uncountable, plural memories)
- (uncountable) The ability of an organism to record information about things or events with the facility of recalling them later at will.
- Memory is a facility common to all animals.
- A record of a thing or an event stored and available for later use by the organism.
- I have no memory of that event.
- (computing) The part of a computer that stores variable executable code or data (RAM) or unalterable executable code or default data (ROM).
- This data passes from the CPU to the memory.
- The time within which past events can be or are remembered.
- in recent memory; in living memory
- (of a material) which returns to its original shape when heated
- Memory metal; memory plastic.
From Anglo-Norman memorie, Old French memoire etc., from Latin memoria (“the faculty of remembering, remembrance, memory, a historical account”), from memor (“mindful, remembering”), related to Ancient Greek μνήμη (mneme, “memory”) μέρμερος (mermeros, “anxious”), μέριμνα (merimna, “care, thought”), Old English mimor (“mindful, remembering”). More at mimmer.
memory - Computer Definition
A device that stores computer data or programs for subsequent retrieval. In the general sense, the term refers to all forms of on-line storage, including hard disk drives and tape drives. In practice, the term generally refers to a computer's fast semiconductor-based main memory, or random access memory (RAM), as distinguished from its secondary storage, such as hard drives.Virtual memory is disk space pretending to be RAM. See also flash memory, RAM, and ROM.
(1) Increasingly, the term memory refers to storage technologies, not the traditional volatile memory as explained in definition #2 below. The primary reason is the use of "flash memory" chips in solid state drives, memory cards and the ubiquitous USB drive, all of which are storage devices. See storage vs. memory, USB drive, memory card and flash memory.
(2) The computer's workspace, which is physically a collection of dynamic RAM (DRAM) chips. A major resource in the computer, memory determines the size and number of programs that can be run at the same time, as well as the amount of data that can be processed instantly. See dynamic RAM. It All Takes Place in Memory All program execution and data processing takes place in memory, often called "main memory" to differentiate it from the memory chips on other circuit boards in the machine. The program's instructions are copied into memory from disk, tape or the network and then extracted from memory into the CPU's control unit circuit for analysis and execution. The instructions direct the computer to input data into memory from a keyboard, disk, tape, modem or network. Calculate, Compare and Copy As data are entered into memory, the previous contents of that space are lost. Once the data are in memory, they can be processed (calculated, compared and copied). The results are sent to a screen, printer, disk, tape, modem or network. Memory Is An Electronic Checkerboard Think of memory as a checkerboard, each square holding one byte of data or instruction. Each square has a separate address like a post office box and can be manipulated independently. As a result, the computer can break apart programs into instructions for execution and data records into fields for processing. See early memories and RAM.