Part of speech: noun
Origin: French, early 19th century
A small, shell-shaped cake
Something that evokes a memory
Examples of Madeleine in a sentence
"She served her favorite dessert, the madeleine, at her friend’s baby shower."
"A scent can be a powerful madeleine, bringing up strong memories from years ago."
A mnemonic is a little more practical than a madeleine, but they both make you remember something. A mnemonic is a saying or phrase that helps you remember information — for example, the order of a mathematical formula. A madeleine might be a string of pearls that makes you remember your grandmother.
Did you Know?
Marcel Proust developed the second sense of this word in his novel, “Remembrance of Things Past.” In it, a character eats a madeleine, which causes a rush of nostalgia. The word can now be used for anything that evokes a strong memory.