From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary [1]

A faculty of the mind, which presents to us ideas or notions of things that are past, accompanied with a persuasion that the things themselves were formerly real and present. When we remember with little or no effort it is called remembrance simply, or memory, and sometimes passive memory. When we endeavour to remember what does not immediately and of itself occur, it is called active memory, or recollection.

A good memory has these several qualifications:

1. It is ready to receive and admit with great ease the various ideas, both of words and things, which are learned or taught.

2. It is large and copious to treasure up these ideas in great number and variety.

3. It is strong and durable to retain, for a considerable time, those words or thoughts which are committed to it.

4. It is faithful and active to suggest and recollect, upon every proper occasion, and those words or thoughts which it hath treasured up.

As this faculty may be injured by neglect and slothfulness we will here subjoin a few of the best rules which have been given for the improvement of it.

1. We should form a clear and distinct apprehension of the things which we commit to memory.

2. Beware of every sort of intemperance, for that greatly impairs the faculties.

3. If it be weak, we must not overload it, but charge it only with the most useful and solid notions.

4. We should take every opportunity of uttering our best thoughts in conversation, as this will deeply imprint them.

5. We should join to the idea we wish to remember, some other idea that is more familiar to us, which bears some similitude to it, either in its nature, or in the sound of the word.

6. We should think of it before we go to sleep at night, and the first thing in the morning, when the faculties are fresh.

7. Method and regularity in the things we commit to the memory are necessary.

8. Often thinking, writing, or talking, on the subjects we wish to remember.

9. Fervent and frequent prayer.

See Watts on the Mind, chap. 17; Grey's Memoria Technica; Rogers' Pleasures of Memory; Reid's Intell. Powers of Man, 303, 318, 338, 356.

King James Dictionary [2]

MEM'ORY, n. L. memoria Gr. to remember, from mind, or the same root. See Mind.

1. The faculty of the mind by which it retains the knowledge of past events, or ideas which are past. A distinction is made between memory and recollection. Memory retains past ideas without any, or with little effort recollection implies an effort to recall ideas that are past.

Memory is the purveyor of reason.

2. A retaining of past ideas in the mind remembrance. Events that excite little attention are apt to escape from memory. 3. Exemption from oblivion.

That ever-living man of memory,

Henry the fifth.

4. The time within which past events can be remembered or recollected, or the time within which a person may have knowledge of what is past. The revolution in England was before my memory the revolution in America was within the author's memory. 5. Memorial monumental record that which calls to remembrance. A monument in London was erected in memory of the conflagration in 1666. 6. Reflection attention.

MEM'ORY, To lay up in the mind or memory. Not used.

Webster's Dictionary [3]

(1): ( n.) The time within which past events can be or are remembered; as, within the memory of man.

(2): ( n.) The actual and distinct retention and recognition of past ideas in the mind; remembrance; as, in memory of youth; memories of foreign lands.

(3): ( n.) The reach and positiveness with which a person can remember; the strength and trustworthiness of one's power to reach and represent or to recall the past; as, his memory was never wrong.

(4): ( n.) Something, or an aggregate of things, remembered; hence, character, conduct, etc., as preserved in remembrance, history, or tradition; posthumous fame; as, the war became only a memory.

(5): ( n.) The faculty of the mind by which it retains the knowledge of previous thoughts, impressions, or events.

(6): ( n.) A memorial.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [4]

that faculty of the mind which enables us to recall past impressions, whether of external facts or internal consciousness. It applies to sensations, perceptions, creations of the fancy, matters acquired by learning, in short, to anything, actual or imaginary, which has previously occupied the mind. It is the great mental storehouse of knowledge. The clearness of the impression so recalled depends, other things being equal, upon. the strength and vividness of the original impression, and this largely depends upon the degree of attention given to the object of it at the time. Other conditions are, chiefly, length of interval since the first impression, frequency of its reiteration, variety of intervening and confusing impressions, etc. There are two accessory ideas usually included in the definition of memory namely, the power of retaining as well as recalling previous impressions, and an accompanying consciousness that the impressions recalled relate to the past. But both these are logically involved in the definition above given; for the power of retention is only indicated and measured by the facility or ability of recalling, and the past character of the thing remembered is implied in its being re-called rather than conceived, perceived, or originated. Memory is thus a definite act, which serves as the exponent or index of the faculty by virtue of which it is performed; and the power itself is estimated and characterized according to the ease, rapidity and completeness of the function.

Memory can hardly be said to be voluntary, yet the will may assist it indirectly. The recurrence of the past impression depends upon what is called the association of ideas, i.e. the connection. in which the impression was first made; and this furnishes the link for retrieving it. This association differs greatly in different minds, and, indeed, with almost every occasion. By attentively fixing the mind upon something connected with the matter sought to be recalled, the train of thought may often be recovered; yet, when it does at last recur, it is spontaneous. Hence memory has been distinguished into simple remembrance, or passive memory without effort, and recollection, or active memory accompanied by a mental endeavor. Memory of a particular point may be clear or faint. Memory in general may be either weak or strong. In some individuals these last characteristics are constitutional. The memory, however, may be greatly improved by habit. Artificial helps are called mnemonics. Memory may also be weak in one respect, and strong in another. Hence the distinction of verbal memory, etc. Names and numbers are proverbially difficult to remember. Yet some remarkable instances of these species of memory are on record. Singular instances also of disordered memory, either excessively acute or defective in some peculiar respects, have been observed. It is held by many that nothing is absolutely lost by the memory; and some are of the opinion that this faculty will furnish the conscience with the whole catalogue of past sins at the final judgment. (See Mind).