Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A bittersweet longing for things, persons, or situations of the past.
  • n. The condition of being homesick; homesickness.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A longing for home or familiar surroundings; homesickness.
  • n. A bittersweet yearning for the things of the past.
  • n. Reminiscence of the speaker's childhood or younger years.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Homesickness; esp., a severe and sometimes fatal form of melancholia, due to homesickness.
  • n. A sentimental yearning to return to an earlier time remembered as happier or more pleasant, or a former place evoking happy memories; a longing to experience again a former happy time.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Morbid longing to return to one's home or native country; homesickness, especially in its severe forms, producing derangement of mental and physical functions.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. longing for something past

Etymologies

Greek nostos, a return home; see nes-1 in Indo-European roots + -algia.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Late Latin nostalgia, from Ancient Greek * νοσταλγία (nostalgia), from νόστος (nostos, "a return home") + ἄλγος (algos, "pain, suffering"). Compare Italian nostalgia and French nostalgie. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • This is my word of the week. Nostalgia

    February 4, 2010

  • Nostalgia is: looking fondly over my old Wordie lists.

    January 28, 2010

  • Mr. Draper may be wrong, but he knows how to pluck at the heartstrings:
    Carousel

    November 12, 2008

  • Kundera 1, Draper 0. Greek nostos "return, homeward journey", related to nosteô "go home, come home", and ne-, nei- "go, come" (with regular omission of medial /s/). First used in English (1756) as a translation of German Heimweh; the English 'homesickness' was also first used in this translation.

    August 5, 2008

  • “In Greek ‘nostalgia’ literally means ‘the pain from an old wound.’ It’s a twing in your heart far more powerful than memory alone�?
    — Don Draper

    August 5, 2008

  • Ain't what it used to be.

    October 1, 2007

  • From the Greek nostos meaning return, and algos meaning suffering. "The suffering caused by an unappeased yearning to return." --Milan Kundera, Ignorance

    December 8, 2006