One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural aides-memoire, Plural aides-memoires
1An aid to the memory, especially a book or note.
record, account, entry, item, notation, minute, jotting, inscriptionView synonyms
- ‘Well, here is an aide-memoire of this season for you and for younger generations.’
- ‘Are you looking for the questions, the aide-memoire?’
- ‘It was common for painters at that time to make use of photographs as aide-memoire to capture specific gestures, postures, and facial expressions.’
- ‘I've found myself using my camera phone while others have been cooking, to capture aide-memoire material around a recipe.’
- ‘The idea is to provide an aide-memoire to that eternal question: ‘Did I take my pill today?’’
- ‘To my astonishment, the first half of my seven-minute set, cribbed from the aide-memoire scribbles on the back of my hand, plays well.’
- ‘Others made replicas as an aide-memoire for future use.’
- ‘His hundreds of sketchbooks were invaluable aide-memoire, and he kept them well organized so he could quickly locate what he wanted.’
- ‘You can do that working to a written script, you can use aides-memoire, or you can learn the whole thing by heart.’
- ‘These photos later served as aides-memoires for the large decorative panels.’
- ‘For this purpose let me hand out an aide-memoire as to the decision-making task ahead of you.’
- ‘The pair match the compositions of the left and right panels in the trio, and it is likely that Vuillard used the photographs as aides-memoires.’
- ‘It is possible that this reflects the fact that the tradition was primarily an oral one, the key points argued by important figures merely being recorded in the form of an aide-memoire.’
2An informal diplomatic message.
- ‘The country has sent an aide memoire to Senator Obama, Congressman Charlie Rangel, chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee of the United States House of Representatives, and several other elected officials.’
- ‘On or about July 19, 1958, Canada sent an "aide-memoire" to the U.S.’
- ‘He went on to relate how only four months later, in August 1958, the Netherlands sent an aide memoire to the British proposing that the division of the territorial seas and continental shelf should be defined in accordance with this principle of equidistance.’
- ‘He sent an aide-memoire in these terms to the Department of State on 30 November 1949.’
- ‘Paul himself makes this very point at the outset of his book, arguing that when Roosevelt and Churchill secretly negotiated the Hyde Park aide-memoire in September 1944, they agreed to continue postwar atomic cooperation.’
Mid 19th century: from French aide-mémoire, from aider ‘to help’ and mémoire ‘memory’.
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