Definition of recollection in US 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’
    • ‘In the early stages, to the best of my recollection, I heard spoken words the way you hear notes played on a musical instrument.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But in the Bible remembering is more than mental recollection of facts.’
    • ‘Well, I had a meeting that went for over an hour, by my recollection.’
    • ‘I mean, we can only answer your questions to the best of our recollection.’
    • ‘He lay there, his eyes closed, remembering, experiencing again through recollection.’
    • ‘Paul eventually dragged me away from the dark spiral of regret and recollection plying me with heavy doses of bourbon.’
    • ‘His designs are shot through with recollection and homage, sentiment and a love of architecture, legacy and vocation.’
    • ‘To the best of my recollection, two men were put on the job.’
    • ‘To the best of my recollection the ‘average’ lifespan for marriages in the UK is anywhere between five to seven years.’
    • ‘Before I went to high school, I had never heard of this, to the best of my recollection.’
    • ‘To the best of our recollection, the aircraft was ready to taxi at 17:30.’
    • ‘To the best of my recollection I rang up Mr. O'Donnell within 24 hours of the meeting… instructing him to form the company.’
    • ‘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 I've never met Pomeroy or spoken to him.’
    • ‘And she would shrug in recollection, unable to remember anything except that dull relief.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In her recollection of everyday experiences, there is a questioning of the value of everyday objects and existential experiences.’
    • ‘He said that to the best of his recollection he received the letter dated 11 January 1999 in the ordinary post.’
    • ‘To the best of my recollection the person involved denied it in a public meeting.’
    1. 1.1 A thing recollected; a memory.
      ‘a biography based on his wife's 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.’
      • ‘These old records should be of great interest to many and spark off many conversations and recollections.’
      • ‘And their recollections perhaps provide a more illuminating insight into the McLeish story.’
      • ‘She laughed and Eddie chuckled at her fond recollections of her mischievous nephew.’
      • ‘All over the UK it seemed, there were people who wanted to share their recollections of how life used to be lived.’
      • ‘He was still a child when his father started working on the computer, but has vivid recollections of that period.’
      • ‘There are no indiscretions; what matters are the personal insights and her recollections.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I remembered taking it out of my purse but had no recollection of what I did with it next.’
      • ‘Conversely, I do have vivid personal recollections of Watergate, which started only a year or two later.’
      • ‘His recollections will be of particular interest to his mother.’
      • ‘She filled the margins with recollections of special memories and funny phrases.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The woman said she had only a hazy recollection of events.’
      • ‘Latter as she sat in the small isolation cell she only had a vague recollection of their conversation.’
      • ‘His memory was phenomenal and he wrote extensively of his recollections of his own life and times.’
      • ‘He has relied on the recollections of his wife Wendy and the other passengers to fill in the gaps in his memory.’
      • ‘I didn't know anything about English grammatical rules, because I certainly have no recollection of studying any such.’
      • ‘I would love to know a little about the stories involved, your memories, feelings and recollections.’
      • ‘It is not unusual for former law clerks to have fond recollections of the judge they worked for.’
      memory, remembrance, mental image, impression, reminiscence
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Philosophy (in Platonic thought) anamnesis.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’


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).