Definition of eidetic in US English:



  • Relating to or denoting mental images having unusual vividness and detail, as if actually visible.

    ‘an eidetic memory’
    • ‘Although in traditional practices of visualization, eidetic images of a divinity or his paradisal dwelling were constructed in the mind, these visions were not visible to the eyes.’
    • ‘According to your file, you have an eidetic memory, remembering anything and everything you're exposed to.’
    • ‘You were supposed to read it once and then remember it, as if you were an eidetic reader who recalled every single word with equal intensity.’
    • ‘Many of those exceptional individuals who retained the ‘photographic’ or eidetic memory that is common in children but rare in adults, have had their lives blighted by their inability to forget unimportant details.’
    • ‘She had formed an almost eidetic image of the room in her mind, one that had impressed itself on her memory in short flashes during her brief times here.’


1920s: coined in German from Greek eidētikos, from eidos ‘form’.