Definition of anamnesis in US English:


nounPlural anamneses

  • 1The remembering of things from a supposed previous existence (often used with reference to Platonic philosophy).

    • ‘Behan's recollection of his heroic role in the Rising is anamnesis, par excellence, of course.’
    • ‘So, the early Christians looked two ways: forward and backward, or upward and downward; there was a keen sense of anamnesis (remembering of the past) and anaphora (referring to the future).’
    • ‘The use of the concepts of amnesia and anamnesis, counter- and auto-hegemony, remembering and re-remembering, provide a theoretical frame for the writing in keeping with postcolonial scholarly discourse.’
    • ‘All that remains to Kaplan's industrial laborers is the nostalgia that blocks every aspect of anamnesis, even the capacity to forget.’
    • ‘Find it before it rots or is taped over, rip it to DVD or VCD, and upload it before it's gone, because the internet is all about anamnesis, if it's about anything.’
    recollection, reminiscence, nostalgia
    View synonyms
  • 2Medicine
    A patient's account of a medical history.

    • ‘The results of this case emphasized the vital importance of an occupational history anamnesis of patients suspected of having sarcoidosis.’
    • ‘The present invention relates to the use of at least one hydrolytic enzyme for the prophylaxis of abortion in pregnant women with habitual idiopathic abortion in their anamneses.’
    • ‘A striking aspect of these anamneses concerns the reports of women who gained weight after an assisted delivery with expression.’
    • ‘The patient had a history of diabetes, but family anamnesis was unremarkable.’
  • 3Christian Church
    The part of the Eucharist in which the Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ are recalled.

    • ‘Christianity pursues the reconciliation of differences through holy communion, by remembrance and anticipation, anamnesis and prolepsis.’
    • ‘He twice uses the term ‘represent’ with its unmistakable reference to the Latin anamnesis, usually associated with the making present of Christ's one atoning sacrifice in the celebration of the Eucharist.’
    • ‘The influence of Brand on the document was palpable and emphasized anamnesis, community with Christ and his body, the church, Eucharistic sacrifice, and the foretaste of the Messianic banquet.’
    • ‘This is called anamnesis, and it is the basis for our understanding of the Mass.’


Late 16th century: from Greek anamnēsis ‘remembrance’.