A Word A Day : Eidetic

Saturday, 17th May 2008 : Today's Word is ...


( Adjective )

Pronunciation : î-dét-tik


1. Of, relating to or marked by extraordinarily detailed and vivid recall of visual images

2. Of visual imagery of almost photographic accuracy

3. Able to recall or reproduce things previously seen, with startling accuracy, clarity and vividness

4. Recalled or reproduced with startling accuracy, clarity, and vividness


Eidetic Memory is the ability to recall images, sounds or objects in memory with extreme accuracy and in seemingly abundant volume. While many people demonstrate extraordinary memory abilities, it is unlikely that true eidetic memory exists in adults. While many famous artists and composers (Claude Monet and Mozart) are commonly thought to have had eidetic memory, it is possible that their memories simply became highly trained in their respective fields of art, as they each devoted large portions of their waking hours towards the improvement of their abilities. Such a focus on their individual arts most likely improved the relevant parts of their memory which may account for their surprising abilities.


Early 20th century - Greek - eidçtikos - eidos - form

Contextual Examples:

• Mastery of this mechanism allows human beings to control at the eidetic level "forces acting on the cosmic level" and it must be achieved so that man can become omniformis.

• They insist that the post-secular mandates or involves a phenomenological move, the eidetic reduction of Being that Heidegger tried to exposit.

• CJ: Yes, this particular, eidetic sense of our collective meaning, arising out of historical conditions, and the way the Founding Fathers' ideal of freedom was inscribed with a special meaning in the souls of black folk, has shaped almost every story, essay, novel, drawing, teleplay, and critical article I've composed for the last three and a half decades .

Related Words:

eidetically : Adverb

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