(kuh.MEM.uh.ruh.bee.lee.uh, -bil.yuh, n. Items created to honor or preserve the memory of a famous person or event.

Example Citation:
Gloucester-based auctioneers, BK, are selling a remarkable collection of royal commemorabilia tomorrow.

It was the property of the late Mrs Patricia Joyce of Leicester and was started by her father who gave her a Staffordshire tankard commemorating the Silver Jubilee of King George V as a christening present in 1935. This was followed two years later by a cup and saucer marking the coronation of King George VI.

Mrs Joyce started to collect commemorative china and glass after the coronation of the present Queen in 1953, and by the time she died last October she had collected at least 500 items.
—"Auction of right royal collection," The Gloucester Citizen, March 20, 2002

Earliest Citation:
Among other things, we learn that in his last years Presley was 'slightly addicted' to prescribed drugs. Presley slightly died 10 years ago yesterday, and a global commemorabilia industry has been working flat-out ever since for the benefit of the tense and potentially lachrymose monomaniacs who constitute his posthumous following.
—Martin Cropper, "Presley present," The Times, August 17, 1987

Today's term unites in holy linguistic matrimony the words commemorate — to honor or preserve the memory of a person or event — and memorabilia — objects associated with a famous person or event.

Related Words: