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Things that exist or are used or enjoyed for only a short time; items of collectable memorabilia, typically written or printed ones, that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity.

Recorded in English from the late 16th century as the plural of ephemeron, from Greek, neuter of ephēmeros ‘lasting only a day’. As a singular noun the word originally denoted a plant said by ancient writers to last only one day, or an insect with a short lifespan, and hence was applied (late 18th century) to a person or thing of short-lived interest. Current use has been influenced by plurals such as trivia and memorabilia.

Subjects: Bibliography.

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