Definition of memorial in English:



  • 1A statue or structure established to remind people of a person or event:

    ‘a memorial to General Robert E. Lee’
    • ‘The chalkboard bearing the names of these men has now become their tombstone, a memorial to the six who left their firehouse never to return again.’
    • ‘Keep going, uphill and round two sharp bends, before turning left to see Bruce's Stone (a memorial to the battle), where you get great views of the loch and valley.’
    • ‘This statue now stands as a memorial to one of the city's more traditional achievements.’
    • ‘The Memorial Pool should be just that - a memorial to the past and the local history of the city.’
    • ‘It was announced that a memorial to the Ministry of Defence man would be erected in ‘his native South Wales’, where he had not actually lived since shortly after his birth.’
    • ‘He understood that when the arch was first proposed, it had been intended as a memorial to asbestos victims but it had ended up more of a memorial to the carriageworks generally and its craftsmanship.’
    • ‘I'd expected to see looted shops, broken glass, and a lot of mess, but it really was shocking to see the Cenotaph, a memorial to Britain's war-dead, daubed with graffiti.’
    • ‘On the hillside above the cemetery is a memorial to ‘the Glendale martyrs’, one of whom - John MacPherson - was an ancestor of the woman we buried.’
    • ‘He thinks that the monument should be a memorial to people who died in all the conflicts, not just the two world wars.’
    • ‘A glass sculpture created in Warminster will be the centrepiece of a memorial to the D-Day landings in France 60 years ago.’
    • ‘The best place to see this is the wonderful church he built after the First World War at Le Raincy in the eastern Paris suburbs, as a memorial to the Marne victory that halted the German advance of 1914.’
    • ‘The gates, believed to have been made in France in 1715 by Jean Tijou, were installed in the 1950s as a memorial to employees of the family's York cocoa works.’
    • ‘Most were not aware of the existence of a memorial to the Whiddy Island horror, a mast-shaped sculpture erected in Bantry cemetery.’
    • ‘They also joined in the fighting in France where a memorial to them stands at Delville Wood, near the town of Longueval during the battle of the Somme from July to November 1916.’
    • ‘The anchor was raised some years ago near Boatstrand and has now been mounted on the pier with an appropriate plaque as a memorial to its ill-fated captain and crew.’
    • ‘According to initial plans the garden is to be created on Kendal's historic Waterside and is planned as a memorial to the town's industrial heritage based in the area during the 19th century.’
    • ‘At this time, it became the village hall and was renamed Haxby Memorial Hall as a memorial to the dead of two world wars.’
    • ‘There are a couple of dozen tombstones, a memorial to men who died in the First World War.’
    • ‘At the junction of the two stands London's only cross-eyed statue, a memorial to 18th century libertarian John Wilkes.’
    • ‘And just this month a plaque was unveiled at Orpington Hospital as a memorial to the Ontario Military Hospital and the Canadian soldiers who were treated there.’
    tribute, testimonial, remembrance, memento, souvenir
    monument, shrine, mausoleum, cenotaph
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[as modifier] Intended to commemorate someone or something:
      ‘a memorial service in the dead man's honour’
      • ‘At the top of the hill stand new memorial gates commemorating the wartime sacrifice of soldiers from across the Commonwealth.’
      • ‘Nguyen-Hatsushiba first intended each memorial project to be a performance in a large tank, aquarium or pool.’
      • ‘Sandy Kelly told the Evening Press he intended attending the memorial service, at which he looked forward to meeting Glenn's relatives, including his son, Tom.’
      • ‘On the 100th anniversary of the fall, a memorial service will commemorate the lives of the four intrepid climbers who lost their lives on The Pinnacle.’
      • ‘A Bradford school is to unveil four memorial benches commemorating the lives of two pupils who have died in the last year.’
      • ‘In January of 2004, Richard Goode spoke at a memorial service commemorating the life and death of a coal miner named Joseph Mairs, Jr.’
      • ‘They have arranged to hold a special memorial service in June commemorating all the people ‘laid to rest’ at their beloved Maine Road.’
      • ‘Every year survivors, relatives and servicemen gather at Scapa Flow in Orkney for a memorial service commemorating the worst loss of British naval life in domestic waters.’
      • ‘The family of a dead 17-year-old have accused the workmen of ripping out memorial plants and a commemorative hockey stick from his grave and dumping them.’
      • ‘His memorial service, which commemorated all the victims of the crash, was like no other.’
      • ‘It seemed to me that this man's memorial service paid tribute not only to memory - to remembering who he was - but also to life.’
      • ‘Joining him and his crew are two survivors from the sinking, which enables Cameron to film their reactions at memorial services for HMS Hood and the Bismarck.’
      • ‘Actor Richard Harris will be remembered at memorial services in Dublin and London, his family said last night.’
      • ‘Jol had his emotions stirred by Sunday's memorial service for Nicholson, who guided Tottenham to their first league and cup double and unprecedented success in Europe.’
      • ‘Thousands of people came to that memorial service.’
      • ‘Lismore Police officers reflect during the one-minute silence at the Police Remembrance Day memorial service.’
      • ‘That night, and for the next seven days, the extra chairs the family had borrowed for Raymond's celebratory goodbye party would be used for his wake and memorial service.’
      • ‘Here is a good site where you can listen to it and other songs like ‘Trelawny’, that was played at Rick Rescorla's memorial service in Hayle.’
      • ‘Casters make commemorative or memorial busts and figures specially ordered and designed by clients.’
      • ‘The ship was to arrive in Geraldton on November 17 and crew were to join in three days of dedication celebrations and memorial services.’
  • 2historical A statement of facts, especially as the basis of a petition:

    ‘the Council sent a strongly worded memorial to the Chancellor of the Exchequer’
    • ‘Read in its entirety the memorial is no petition for clemency or mercy but makes out a clear and emphatic case on the basis of legal rights and constitutional practices and principles.’
    1. 2.1 A record or memoir:
      ‘Mrs Carlyle's Letters and Memorials’
      • ‘The information published in the memorials was collected by volunteers, amongst whom was Lord Walter Fitzgerald of Kilkea Castle, Fr.’
      • ‘Thus, it is all the more important that memorials contain accurate information about history as mediated ideology.’
      • ‘The ongoing debates over memorials, memoirs, and the diminishing possibilities of authentic memory are given erudite, expressive, and eloquent treatment.’
      • ‘The new photographic memorials are modeled on the United States' Holocaust Museum and its metonymic use of photographs to convey loss.’
      • ‘They have given hours of their time to tracing memorials and recording their existence.’
      • ‘It is understandable that the memorials would blend this information out, but not acceptable.’
      • ‘His catalogue of recordings comprises a splendid memorial, but he will be sorely missed; opera in Britain is the poorer for his passing.’
      • ‘This points to the function of the memorial in recording wartime feelings about conscription and service.’
      • ‘Often there is an array of family memorials recording the passing generations.’


Late Middle English: from late Latin memoriale record, memory, monument, from Latin memorialis serving as a reminder, from memoria memory.