commemorate vs remember what difference

what is difference between commemorate and remember



From Latin commemorare, from com- + memorare (to remind of); see memory.


  • IPA(key): /kəˈmɛməˌɹeɪt/


commemorate (third-person singular simple present commemorates, present participle commemorating, simple past and past participle commemorated)

  1. (transitive) To honour the memory of someone or something with a ceremony or object.
    • 2009, Naava Piatka, No Goodbyes: A Father-Daughter Memoir of Love, War and Resurrection, page 98:
      On the anniversary of Korczak’s murder, Israel commemorated him with a special postal issue. As a stamp collector and philatelic columnist, it pleased me greatly when other countries followed Israel’s example in honoring him.
  2. (transitive) To serve as a memorial to someone or something.


  • memorialize

Derived terms

  • commemorative
  • commemoration
  • decommemorate





  1. inflection of commemorare:
    1. second-person plural present indicative
    2. second-person plural imperative
  2. feminine plural of commemorato




  1. second-person plural present active imperative of commemorō


Etymology 1

From Middle English remembren, from Old French remembrer (to remember), from Late Latin rememorari (to remember again), from re- + memor (mindful), from Proto-Indo-European *mer-, *(s)mer- (to think about, be mindful, remember). Cognate with Old English mimorian, mymerian (to remember, commemorate), Old English māmorian (to deliberate, plan out, design). More at mammer.


  • (General American) IPA(key): /ɹɪˈmɛmbɚ/
  • (General American, uncommon or dialectal, in rapid speech) IPA(key): /ˈmɛmbɚ/
  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ɹɪˈmɛmbə/
  • Rhymes: -ɛmbə(ɹ)
  • Hyphenation: re‧mem‧ber


remember (third-person singular simple present remembers, present participle remembering, simple past and past participle remembered)

  1. To recall from one’s memory; to have an image in one’s memory.
    • 2016, VOA Learning English (public domain)
      Remember me? I live in your building.

    • 2021, President Joe Biden
      To heal, we must remember. It’s hard sometimes to remember, but that’s how we heal. It’s important to do that as a nation.
  2. To memorize; to put something into memory.
  3. To keep in mind, be mindful of
  4. To not forget (to do something required)
  5. To convey greetings from.
  6. (obsolete) To put in mind; to remind (also used reflexively)
    • 1610, The Tempest, by William Shakespeare, act 1 scene 2
      Since thou dost give me pains, / Let me remember thee what thou hast promis’d, / Which is not yet perform’d me.
    • 1870, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, “Secret Parting”, lines 5-7
      But soon, remembering her how brief the whole
      Of joy, which its own hours annihilate,
      Her set gaze gathered
  7. (intransitive) To engage in the process of recalling memories.
  8. (transitive) To give (a person) money as a token of appreciation of past service or friendship.
    My aunt remembered me in her will, leaving me several thousand pounds.
    • 2003, Little Visits 365 Family Devotions: Building Faith for a Lifetime (Concordia Publishing House)
      Waitresses, mail carriers, and teachers were often remembered on Boxing Day.
  9. (transitive) to commemorate, to have a remembrance ceremony
Usage notes
  • In sense 1 this is a catenative verb that takes the gerund (-ing).
  • In sense 3 this is a catenative verb that takes the to infinitive.
  • See Appendix:English catenative verbs
Alternative forms
  • remembre (obsolete)
  • recall
  • reminisce
Derived terms
  • disremember
  • misremember
  • rememberer
  • remembrance
  • Sranan Tongo: memre

See also

  • recollect
  • recollection
  • remind

Etymology 2

re- +‎ member


remember (third-person singular simple present remembers, present participle remembering, simple past and past participle remembered)

  1. (rare) Alternative form of re-member
    • 1982, Book Review Digest, volume 78, page 824:
      knit ‘this scattered corn into one mutual sheaf, / these broken limbs again into one body ‘ – in other words, how to resurrect the dismembered god, to remember Osiris. Yet the only body made whole in these expert, lowering poems is the body of this death.
    • 2008, Jan Assmann, Of God and Gods: Egypt, Israel, and the Rise of Monotheism, page 42:
      According to these mysteries, the rites of fashioning or remembering Osiris came to be interpreted as remembering Egypt. Egypt was the body of Osiris, dismembered and scattered across the land.
    • 2010, Sandra Ingerman, Medicine for the Earth, page 100:
      She remembered Osiris by putting his pieces back together and mating with him one last time, conceiving Horus, who eventually avenged his father’s death.
    • 2012, Roy Melvyn, The Lost Writings of Wu Hsin: Pointers to Non Duality in Five Volumes, Lulu Press, Inc (→ISBN)
      To dismember is to tear apart; / To re-member is to put back together. / The old must be dismembered / So that which was prior to it / May be remembered. / Therefore, to re-mind is / To dismember and then re-member.
Alternative forms
  • re-member


  • remembre

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