27 Idioms for Memory: The Secrets of Remembering


Idioms related to memory can be fascinating because they often describe our ability to remember or forget things in creative ways.

In this article, we’ll explore idioms for memory, shedding light on their meanings and how they are used in everyday conversation. So, let’s dive into the world of memory idioms!

Memory is like a treasure chest of moments, where each memory is a precious gem, waiting to be uncovered and cherished. For more comparisons to describe memory, you can check this link: Similes for memory. And for a variety of metaphors related to memory, you can explore this link: Metaphors for memory.

What is an Idiom for Memory?

Idioms for memory are expressions that use figurative language to describe how well or poorly we remember things.


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Created by Dr. Julia Rossi

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What is a simile?

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“Out of the frying pan into the fire” is an example of:

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These idioms are a playful way to talk about our memory abilities. Let’s uncover the meanings behind these idioms and see them in action:

IdiomMeaningExample Sentence
Have a Memory Like an ElephantExceptionally good memoryMary can recall all the names of her classmates from kindergarten; she has a memory like an elephant.
In the Back of One’s MindVague or distant memory of somethingThe song reminded him of his childhood, but it was in the back of his mind.
Slip One’s MindForget something unintentionallyI had to call Jane back because her birthday had completely slipped my mind.
A Trip Down Memory LaneNostalgically revisiting the pastLooking at the photo album took us on a trip down memory lane, recalling all our adventures.
Refresh One’s MemoryRemind someone of something they had forgottenCan you refresh my memory about our plans for the weekend?
Jog One’s MemoryHelp someone remember something by mentioning related detailsHis description of the restaurant jogged my memory, and I remembered our visit there last year.
Memory Like a SievePoor memory, easily forgetting thingsI can never remember people’s phone numbers; I have a memory like a sieve.
Burn into MemoryMake a lasting and vivid impression on one’s memoryThe beautiful sunset over the ocean burned into my memory; I’ll never forget it.
Commit to MemoryIntentionally learn or memorize somethingShe decided to commit her favorite poem to memory so she could recite it at the poetry slam.
Etched in MemoryMemory deeply engraved or permanently imprintedThe sight of the Grand Canyon was so breathtaking; it was etched in my memory forever.
Fading MemoryMemory becoming less clear or vivid over timeAs the years went by, his childhood memories of the old neighborhood were fading.
From MemoryRemembering something without looking it up or referring to notesShe played the song from memory, without needing sheet music.
Memory LaneFigurative place representing the past and nostalgiaVisiting the old school brought back memories of strolling down memory lane.
Memory of an ElephantExceptional memory, just like an elephant’s strong memoryHe never forgets birthdays; he has a memory of an elephant.
Play Tricks on MemoryCause confusion or make one’s memory unreliableThe passing years can play tricks on memory, making it hard to recall details accurately.
Selective MemoryRemember only certain things while forgetting others, often to suit one’s needs or preferencesHe has a selective memory when it comes to his mistakes, conveniently forgetting them.
Store in MemoryRetain information or experiences in one’s memoryThe captivating story was stored in my memory, and I couldn’t wait to share it with friends.
Take a Trip Down Memory LaneReminisce about the past nostalgicallyGather around, and let’s take a trip down memory lane by looking at old photos.
Trigger a MemoryCause something to be remembered or recalledThe scent of her grandmother’s cookies always triggers a sweet childhood memory.
Hazy MemoryUnclear or foggy memory, lacking in detailAfter the accident, she had a hazy memory of what had happened.
Imprinted in MemoryMemory deeply embedded or stamped in one’s mindThe image of the historic monument was imprinted in her memory after the school trip.
Locked in MemoryMemory securely retained and not easily forgottenThe day they met was locked in her memory as the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Memory BankMetaphorical storage place in the mind where memories are storedOur memory bank holds countless moments from our lives, both big and small.
Memory LapseTemporary failure of memory or momentary forgetfulnessSorry for the delay; I had a memory lapse and forgot our meeting time.
Memory StickPortable electronic device used to store and transfer dataDon’t forget to bring your memory stick; we’ll need it for the presentation.
Photographic MemoryExceptional ability to recall visual details with great accuracyShe has a photographic memory and can remember every page of the textbook.
Short-Term MemoryAbility to temporarily hold and process information for a short durationShort-term memory is essential for tasks like remembering a phone number just long enough to dial it.
idioms for memory

Idioms for Memory

1. Have a Memory Like an Elephant

Meaning: To have an exceptionally good memory.

In a Sentence: Mary can recall all the names of her classmates from kindergarten; she has a memory like an elephant.

2. In the Back of One’s Mind

Meaning: To have a vague or distant memory of something.

In a Sentence: The song reminded him of his childhood, but it was in the back of his mind.

3. Slip One’s Mind

Meaning: To forget something unintentionally.

In a Sentence: I had to call Jane back because her birthday had completely slipped my mind.

4. A Trip Down Memory Lane

Meaning: Nostalgically revisiting the past and reminiscing about old times.

In a Sentence: Looking at the photo album took us on a trip down memory lane, recalling all our adventures.

5. Refresh One’s Memory

Meaning: To remind someone of something they had forgotten.

In a Sentence: Can you refresh my memory about our plans for the weekend?

6. Jog One’s Memory

Meaning: To help someone remember something by mentioning related details.

In a Sentence: His description of the restaurant jogged my memory, and I remembered our visit there last year.

7. Memory Like a Sieve

Meaning: Having a poor memory, easily forgetting things.

In a Sentence: I can never remember people’s phone numbers; I have a memory like a sieve.

8. Burn into Memory

Meaning: To make a lasting and vivid impression on one’s memory.

In a Sentence: The beautiful sunset over the ocean burned into my memory; I’ll never forget it.

9. Commit to Memory

Meaning: To intentionally learn or memorize something.

In a Sentence: She decided to commit her favorite poem to memory so she could recite it at the poetry slam.

10. Etched in Memory

Meaning: A memory that is deeply engraved or permanently imprinted.

In a Sentence: The sight of the Grand Canyon was so breathtaking; it was etched in my memory forever.

11. Fading Memory

Meaning: A memory that is becoming less clear or vivid over time.

In a Sentence: As the years went by, his childhood memories of the old neighborhood were fading.

12. From Memory

Meaning: To remember something without looking it up or referring to notes.

In a Sentence: She played the song from memory, without needing sheet music.

13. Memory Lane

Meaning: A figurative place representing the past and nostalgia.

In a Sentence: Visiting the old school brought back memories of strolling down memory lane.

14. Memory of an Elephant

Meaning: An idiom for an exceptional memory, just like an elephant’s strong memory.

In a Sentence: He never forgets birthdays; he has a memory of an elephant.

15. Play Tricks on Memory

Meaning: To cause confusion or make one’s memory unreliable.

In a Sentence: The passing years can play tricks on memory, making it hard to recall details accurately.

16. Selective Memory

Meaning: Remembering only certain things while forgetting others, often to suit one’s needs or preferences.

In a Sentence: He has a selective memory when it comes to his mistakes, conveniently forgetting them.

17. Store in Memory

Meaning: To retain information or experiences in one’s memory.

In a Sentence: The captivating story was stored in my memory, and I couldn’t wait to share it with friends.

18. Take a Trip Down Memory Lane

Meaning: To reminisce about the past nostalgically.

In a Sentence: Gather around, and let’s take a trip down memory lane by looking at old photos.

19. Trigger a Memory

Meaning: To cause something to be remembered or recalled.

In a Sentence: The scent of her grandmother’s cookies always triggers a sweet childhood memory.

20. Hazy Memory

Meaning: A memory that is unclear or foggy, lacking in detail.

In a Sentence: After the accident, she had a hazy memory of what had happened.

21. Imprinted in Memory

Meaning: A memory that is deeply embedded or stamped in one’s mind.

In a Sentence: The image of the historic monument was imprinted in her memory after the school trip.

22. Locked in Memory

Meaning: A memory that is securely retained and not easily forgotten.

In a Sentence: The day they met was locked in her memory as the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

23. Memory Bank

Meaning: A metaphorical storage place in the mind where memories are stored.

In a Sentence: Our memory bank holds countless moments from our lives, both big and small.

24. Memory Lapse

Meaning: A temporary failure of memory or a momentary forgetfulness.

In a Sentence: Sorry for the delay; I had a memory lapse and forgot our meeting time.

25. Memory Stick

Meaning: A portable electronic device used to store and transfer data.

In a Sentence: Don’t forget to bring your memory stick; we’ll need it for the presentation.

26. Photographic Memory

Meaning: An exceptional ability to recall visual details with great accuracy.

In a Sentence: She has a photographic memory and can remember every page of the textbook.

27. Short-Term Memory

Meaning: The ability to temporarily hold and process information, often for a short duration.

In a Sentence: Short-term memory is essential for tasks like remembering a phone number just long enough to dial it.

Quizzes About The Idioms in The Article

  1. Question: What does the idiom “Have a Memory Like an Elephant” mean?
    • A) To have a poor memory
    • B) To have a memory as strong as an elephant’s
    • C) To remember only certain things
    • D) To forget everything quickly
  2. Question: When something is “In the Back of One’s Mind,” what does it imply?
    • A) It’s vividly remembered
    • B) It’s a distant memory
    • C) It’s an immediate concern
    • D) It’s unforgettable
  3. Question: What is the meaning of the idiom “Slip One’s Mind”?
    • A) To intentionally forget
    • B) To accidentally forget
    • C) To remember vividly
    • D) To have a great memory
  4. Question: What does “A Trip Down Memory Lane” refer to?
    • A) An actual trip
    • B) Revisiting the past nostalgically
    • C) A journey to a new place
    • D) A memory-related activity
  5. Question: If you “Jog One’s Memory,” what are you doing?
    • A) Helping them forget
    • B) Making their memory worse
    • C) Helping them remember by mentioning related details
    • D) Telling them to stop thinking
  6. Question: What does “Memory Like a Sieve” suggest about someone’s memory?
    • A) Exceptional memory
    • B) Easily forgets things
    • C) Remembers everything
    • D) Has a good memory
  7. Question: When a memory is “Burned into Memory,” what does it mean?
    • A) It’s forgotten quickly
    • B) It’s permanently imprinted and vivid
    • C) It’s a vague memory
    • D) It’s a false memory
  8. Question: What is the definition of “Commit to Memory”?
    • A) To intentionally learn or memorize something
    • B) To forget something on purpose
    • C) To have a vague memory
    • D) To rely on someone else’s memory
  9. Question: What does the idiom “Fading Memory” describe?
    • A) A memory that is becoming less clear or vivid over time
    • B) A memory that is getting stronger
    • C) A recent memory
    • D) A memory that is unforgettable
  10. Question: If you remember something “From Memory,” what does it mean?
    • A) You looked it up
    • B) You forgot it
    • C) You remember it without looking it up
    • D) You made up the memory

Answers:

  1. B) To have a memory as strong as an elephant’s
  2. B) It’s a distant memory
  3. B) To accidentally forget
  4. B) Revisiting the past nostalgically
  5. C) Helping them remember by mentioning related details
  6. B) Easily forgets things
  7. B) It’s permanently imprinted and vivid
  8. A) To intentionally learn or memorize something
  9. A) A memory that is becoming less clear or vivid over time
  10. C) You remember it without looking it up

Conclusion

These idioms for memory reveal the many ways we describe our ability to remember, forget, or recall information. From likening memory to an elephant’s to taking a trip down memory lane, these expressions add a touch of creativity to our conversations about our inner mental processes.

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