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'Memorium’ or ‘Memoriam’: Which is Correct Grammar?

Shaun Connell
July 28, 2023

Are you wondering whether 'memorium' or 'memoriam' is grammatically correct?

Here is a quick answer: 

  • 'Memorium' is a popular misspelling.
  • 'Memoriam' is the correct term to describe memories of someone who passed away. 
  • You do not use 'Memoriam' without the preposition 'in' because it is part of the prepositional phrase In Memoriam.

However, there is much more to learn. But do not worry. In this guide, I will teach you exactly how to define, spell, use, and pronounce 'Memoriam.'

Is 'Memorium' or 'Memoriam' Correct?

You can confidently answer that between 'Memorium' or 'Memoriam,' the latter is the correct spelling.

However, you use the term as a prepositional phrase. 'Memoriam' itself has no definition in the English language.

Furthermore, the spelling and pronunciation make many believe that 'Memorium' is correct, but we will discuss that further after we look at the definition and pronunciation.

Definition of 'Memoriam': What Does 'Memoriam' Mean?

As I mentioned, there is no English definition of 'Memoriam.' There is, however, a definition in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary for In Memoriam:

  • In Memory

The phrase is typically used in epitaphs, which are written memories of people who have died commonly found in funeral guest books and on tombstones or grave markers.

Origin of 'Memoriam'

The first known use of 'Memoriam' as an English term was in 1850. The term is the Latin word for memory.

Similar Phrases

  • In loving memory of
  • In memory of
  • In Memory
  • In remembrance
  • In honor of
  • Dedicated to

How to Use 'Memoriam'

'Memoriam' is not an English word. The term is Latin.

However, the phrase In Memoriam is a recognized prepositional phrase.

So, when do you use this term?

  • Use 'memoriam' in the term In Memoriam

For example, you could write something like this:

In Memoriam of my dear friend, I am donating to her favorite charity. 

  • Use the term on objects dedicated to the memory of someone.

For example, you have likely seen park benches, bricks, and other items with a message like:

In Memoriam of Dr. and Mrs. Penderson, beloved mother and father. 

  • Use 'memoriam' when creating slideshows or other presentations that honor someone who has passed away.

For example, you could say:

In Memoriam of Eric Smith, beloved father, uncle, son, and grandfather. You will be loved and missed. Rest in Peace until we see you again, sweet soul. 

  • Use In Memoriam on a gravestone dedicated to a lost loved one.

For example, I might say something like:

In Memoriam of Elizabeth Cindy Johnson, a dedicated mother, sister, daughter, and friend. 

Typically, the date of birth and death are listed below on a headstone.

Pronunciation: How Do You 'Pronounce' Memoriam?

'Memoriam' is a strange word because it is unlike most other English terms. Most similar-sounding words end in -ium. However, due to the word being Latin, it has a different spelling.

So, let's look at how you pronounce 'memoriam' because learning the pronunciation will help you remember the word.

  • Use the phonetic spelling below to pronounce 'memoriam':


Similar Sounding Words

  • Helium
  • Crematorium
  • Pandemonium
  • Planetarium
  • Stadium
  • Cadmium
  • Gallium
  • Uranium
  • Plutonium
  • Premium
  • Lithium
  • Chromium
  • Calcium

As you can see, these words all use a similar-sounding ending, -ium. Besides a few names derived from other languages, all English words with the ē-um sound use ium spelling.

Based on that information, it makes sense that writers and English language learners often think 'Memorium' is the grammatically correct spelling. However, like weird, this term does not follow the rules other words follow.

So, you have to make a conscious effort to commit the correct spelling to memory.

Sample Sentences: 'Memoriam'

Now that you know that between 'Memorium' and 'Memoriam,' only the latter is a grammatically correct English term, look at these sample sentences to learn how to use the word.

  • We dedicated a poem I wrote on a plaque In Memorium of our late grandparents.
  • They loved going there, so it was the perfect place to dedicate something In Memoriam to them.
  • Writing the epitaph In Memoriam of my grandfather's gravestone was one of the hardest things ever.
  • In high school, one of our classmates passed away in an unexpected accident. So, the students and parents did a fundraiser In Memoriam of him to donate to a foundation that helps families cope with losing a brother, sister, son, or daughter.
  • After writing the essay on the psychology of people dedicating things In Memorium of dead friends and relatives, I realized the act helps many people process their grief.
  • After we completed the fundraiser, the organization sent a letter to our friend's parents to tell them about the In Memorium donation we made.
  • Each year, his friends post In Memorium messages to him on his birthday and the day he died. It is incredible to me that even ten years after his dying, people are still writing about the impact he had on their lives.
  • If you are a greeting card writer, you may have the challenge of writing In Memoriam or condolence cards occasionally.
  • As a freelance writer, people may sometimes contact you for strange jobs, like writing obituaries In Memoriam of their loved ones.
  • If someone hires you to write something In Memoriam of their family member or friend, you must talk to the client about the deceased to get to know who they were as a person.

Recap: Which is Correct Grammar, 'Memorium' or 'Memoriam?'

Let's recap whether 'memorium' or 'memoriam' is grammatically correct: 

  • 'Memorium' is a common misspelling of 'Memoriam,' and it has no function in the English language.
  • 'Memoriam' is a Latin word that means memory.
  • 'Memoriam' is added to the preposition, in, to create the prepositional phrase In Memoriam, which means, in memory of.

Hopefully, you are confident in your ability to define, use, spell, and pronounce this term. However, you can always come back to this page to verify the correct spelling if you are unsure.

It is also a good idea to read through the other posts for writers here. They contain a wealth of information that you can use to improve your writing skills and make yourself more marketable to potential clients.

You can also find content here on the latest industry trends and best practices affecting writers. So, visit often to stay up-to-date.

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Written By:
Shaun Connell
Shaun Connell has spent his entire career either working as a freelance writer or hiring freelance writers for his many successful publications. Shaun has learned the exact tricks of the trade to hire the perfect writer for almost any niche.

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