Definition of nostalgia in English:



mass noun
  • 1A sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past.

    ‘I was overcome with acute nostalgia for my days at university’
    • ‘There is no nostalgia with regard to past connections with the states from the Warsaw Pact.’
    • ‘This is a show that, despite its bygone English rural setting, is without nostalgia or sentimentality.’
    • ‘The days of the Empire were by then long gone, but not so the English romance with faraway places or its nostalgia for the past.’
    • ‘In electoral politics you either sell a promise for the future, or nostalgia for the past.’
    • ‘This again is a film about memory but this time one in which nostalgia for time past becomes a pathology.’
    • ‘With love of nature and nostalgia for the past, they combine elements of jazz and rock.’
    • ‘I have such a soft spot in my heart for the film that it's hard to see past all the nostalgia.’
    • ‘In addition, many have been gripped by a wave of nostalgia for the old east.’
    • ‘News of the plan to make Spam popular again triggered a wave of nostalgia at our house.’
    • ‘I think there's an infectious wave of formless nostalgia sweeping the nation at the moment.’
    • ‘Both works have a strong undercurrent of grief and bitter nostalgia.’
    • ‘Along with the concept, there was this nagging feeling of nostalgia for the past.’
    • ‘It is full of nostalgia for a Scotland past and gone but full of hope for the new, modern Scotland.’
    • ‘Few people can remain untouched by the wave of nostalgia sweeping the land right now.’
    • ‘His unsettling ideas will be neutralised by nostalgia for a period already mostly forgotten.’
    • ‘It is also full of nostalgia as they reminisce the days of yore in the form of song, dance and photos of old Hawaii.’
    • ‘One of the things with nostalgia is the warm feeling you get from the things that both frightened and fascinated you as a kid.’
    • ‘So I took a trip to the website this morning and immediately got lost in a wave of nostalgia.’
    • ‘That warm fuzzy feeling of nostalgia was an almost physical sensation.’
    • ‘Being a soppy sort of soul, I'm overpowered by waves of nostalgia, each time I visit the Chelsea area.’
    wistfulness, longing for the past, pining for the past, yearning for the past, regret, regretfulness, reminiscence, remembrance, recollection, homesickness, sentimentality
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Something done or presented in order to evoke feelings of nostalgia.
      ‘an evening of TV nostalgia’
      • ‘Every family of the street had a member present and nostalgia was the theme.’
      • ‘Showband nostalgia was much to the fore at Club 3 in Roscommon last Friday night week.’


Late 18th century (in the sense ‘acute homesickness’): modern Latin (translating German Heimweh ‘homesickness’), from Greek nostos ‘return home’ + algos ‘pain’.