I am looking for a word that describes a feeling that I know I felt in the past, but I cannot remember what is was.

I found nostalgia a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations. But it seems to imply that I kow what I am feeling.

I hope this makes sense and thanks in advance.

  • Hello, acuencadev. Since you know that nostalgia is a reasonably close relative, perhaps a search for synonyms is the place to start. If you then find nothing helpful, explain where you've searched, and contributors may then have further suggestions. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 9 '19 at 16:31
  • As well, you need a sample sentence showing how the target language is to be used, per the SWR tag. – Cascabel Jul 9 '19 at 16:32
  • I'm not entirely sure how you know you felt a feeling before but don't know what that feeling was. If you know what it was (in order to remember feeling it) then probably nostalgia is correct, as you found. If you don't know what it was, how do you remember having it at all? – Andrew Leach Jul 9 '19 at 16:47
  • Deja vu only with feelings? – user172447 Jul 9 '19 at 20:38
  • @AndrewLeach I suppose a crisis averted could leave one with just a memory of the scare without the actual feeling of the scare, at least for a time. – Lawrence Jul 10 '19 at 10:35

Answering your question, I think a nice word is wistfulness characterized by melancholy; longing; yearning. It's pensive, especially in a melancholy way.

  • I really like this word. Thanks! – acuencadev Jul 10 '19 at 13:43

Not exactly one word, and not exactly what you meant, but it's the closest I can think of

  • dé·jà vu

/ˌdāZHä ˈvo͞o/


noun: déjà vu

A feeling of having already experienced the present situation. tedious familiarity. "to list the opponents of his policies is to invite boredom and a sense of déjà vu"

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