Definition of memento mori in English:

memento mori

Pronunciation /məˌmɛntəʊ ˈmɔːri//məˌmɛntəʊ ˈmɔːrʌɪ/

noun

  • An object kept as a reminder of the inevitability of death, such as a skull.

    ‘he placed the picture in his room as a memento mori’
    ‘the skulls and bones on monuments were memento mori’
    • ‘The juxtaposition of press clippings and grim artefacts offers a memento mori.’
    • ‘One of the few exceptions to the general gaiety is Pulse, a dark, brooding globe with blackened vines and seared leaves, a memento mori that makes you pause in the midst of this feast.’
    • ‘The war touched most of the conventional genres in which Picasso worked, notably still life, whose tradition of the memento mori lent itself to contemporary meditations upon death.’
    • ‘‘With every celebratory or positive thing, there's always a negative thing, a memento mori,’ says Gibb.’
    • ‘I own one of his self-portraits from the 1970s, the one with the skull as a memento mori on the shoulder.’

Origin

Latin, literally ‘remember (that you have) to die’.

Pronunciation

memento mori

/məˌmɛntəʊ ˈmɔːri//məˌmɛntəʊ ˈmɔːrʌɪ/