Definition of recollection in English:



  • 1The action or faculty of remembering something.

    ‘to the best of my recollection no one ever had a bad word to say about him’
    • ‘To the best of my recollection, Stanley played the part of a man who was persuaded by Satan to have a television, one of the first in his street, in his home.’
    • ‘But in the Bible remembering is more than mental recollection of facts.’
    • ‘To the best of my recollection the ‘average’ lifespan for marriages in the UK is anywhere between five to seven years.’
    • ‘He lay there, his eyes closed, remembering, experiencing again through recollection.’
    • ‘To the best of our recollection, the aircraft was ready to taxi at 17:30.’
    • ‘Well, I had a meeting that went for over an hour, by my recollection.’
    • ‘To the best of my recollection, two men were put on the job.’
    • ‘Before I went to high school, I had never heard of this, to the best of my recollection.’
    • ‘In the early stages, to the best of my recollection, I heard spoken words the way you hear notes played on a musical instrument.’
    • ‘Paul eventually dragged me away from the dark spiral of regret and recollection plying me with heavy doses of bourbon.’
    • ‘He said that to the best of his recollection he received the letter dated 11 January 1999 in the ordinary post.’
    • ‘It was a wonderful night of celebration and recollection as several generations of employees and their families came together.’
    • ‘To the best of my recollection the person involved denied it in a public meeting.’
    • ‘And she would shrug in recollection, unable to remember anything except that dull relief.’
    • ‘A quick glance through the textbooks and some recollection of what the teacher said in class, should be enough to shortlist the broad areas of study.’
    • ‘To the best of my recollection I've never met Pomeroy or spoken to him.’
    • ‘His designs are shot through with recollection and homage, sentiment and a love of architecture, legacy and vocation.’
    • ‘I mean, we can only answer your questions to the best of our recollection.’
    • ‘In her recollection of everyday experiences, there is a questioning of the value of everyday objects and existential experiences.’
    • ‘To the best of my recollection I rang up Mr. O'Donnell within 24 hours of the meeting… instructing him to form the company.’
    1. 1.1 A thing recollected; a memory.
      ‘a biography based on his wife's recollections’
      • ‘She laughed and Eddie chuckled at her fond recollections of her mischievous nephew.’
      • ‘His memory was phenomenal and he wrote extensively of his recollections of his own life and times.’
      • ‘I would love to know a little about the stories involved, your memories, feelings and recollections.’
      • ‘He has relied on the recollections of his wife Wendy and the other passengers to fill in the gaps in his memory.’
      • ‘His recollections will be of particular interest to his mother.’
      • ‘He told police after the incident that he had no recollection of what had happened but described his driving as ‘nice and easy’ shortly before the crash.’
      • ‘His earliest recollection of becoming involved as a hobbyist was when in the early seventies he purchased two pairs of canaries for his young son Eric.’
      • ‘She filled the margins with recollections of special memories and funny phrases.’
      • ‘Latter as she sat in the small isolation cell she only had a vague recollection of their conversation.’
      • ‘It is not unusual for former law clerks to have fond recollections of the judge they worked for.’
      • ‘All over the UK it seemed, there were people who wanted to share their recollections of how life used to be lived.’
      • ‘I remembered taking it out of my purse but had no recollection of what I did with it next.’
      • ‘These old records should be of great interest to many and spark off many conversations and recollections.’
      • ‘Everybody who has met her has their own special memories of the occasion, and it is those recollections that we would like you to share with us.’
      • ‘There are no indiscretions; what matters are the personal insights and her recollections.’
      • ‘The woman said she had only a hazy recollection of events.’
      • ‘Conversely, I do have vivid personal recollections of Watergate, which started only a year or two later.’
      • ‘I didn't know anything about English grammatical rules, because I certainly have no recollection of studying any such.’
      • ‘He was still a child when his father started working on the computer, but has vivid recollections of that period.’
      • ‘And their recollections perhaps provide a more illuminating insight into the McLeish story.’
      memory, remembrance, mental image, impression, reminiscence
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Philosophy (in Platonic thought) anamnesis.
      • ‘Historical research would be a work of recollection in the Platonic sense, a clarifying of knowledge which man already possesses.’
      • ‘Further comparisons arise with Plato's doctrine of recollection.’
      • ‘But it also implies a rejection of the Platonic doctrine that learning is a recollection of previously known Forms.’
      • ‘Scholars disagree on the nature and role of this recollection in Plato's epistemology, and most subsequent Platonists demur from it.’


Late 16th century (denoting the action of gathering things together again): from French or medieval Latin recollectio(n-), from the verb recolligere ‘gather again’ (see recollect).