nosto-, nost-

(Greek: return home)

nostalgia (s) (noun) (usually no plural)
1. A longing to return home or to one's native land; severe homesickness: When looking through the photo album, Sylvia sometimes had a feeling of nostalgia for California where she grew up as a kid.
2. A mixed feeling of happiness, sadness, and longing when recalling a person, place, or event from the past: Jake was filled with nostalgia for his college days.
3. The pain of yearning for a former time in one’s life or for familiar people and surroundings: Smelling the bread baking in the oven gave Rebecca a feeling of nostalgia of how it used to be in the kitchen when she was a child.
4. Etymology: from 1770, "severe homesickness" (considered as a disease), Modern Latin, coined in 1668 by Johannes Hofer as a rendering of German heimweh, from Greek nostos, "homecoming" + algos, "pain, grief, distress".

The transferred sense of "wistful yearning for a past or earlier time", was first recorded in D.H. Lawrence's The Lost Girl in 1920.

Chinese Panda bears are homesick for China.
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Homesickness or a strong desire to return to one's home

The pain of longing to return home, to a former time in one’s life, or to familiar people and surroundings; severe home sickness. The illustration above suggests that at least one of the Panda bears wants to return to China, its native land.

A nostalgic feeling is considered to be a mixed feeling of happiness, sadness, and longing when recalling a person, place, or event from his or her past.

A strong desire for things and people from one's past.
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A yearning to return to previous existences.
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nostalgic
1. Characterized by a bittersweet longing for things, people, or situations of the past.
2. A reference to a condition of being homesick; homesickness.
3. Caused by nostalgia; later, affected with nostalgia; that is, "unhappy at being away and longing for familiar things or people".
nostalgically
A descriptive reference to a wistful desire to return in thought, or in fact, to a former time in one's life, to one's home or homeland, or to one's family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time.
nostalgy
nostologist
One who studies senility; a gerontologist.
nostology, nostologic
1. The study of the senile stages of an organism or race of organisms.
2. The study of senility, gerontology, and geriatrics.

Based on the idea that some aspects of "later life [senility] is somewhat like returning to early years".

nostomania (s) (noun) (uncountable)
1. An exaggerated form of longing and reminiscence: Jane had been depressed and discontent for a long time and the doctor finally found out that she had a case of nostomania, being wistful and yearning for something she couldn't quite explain.
2. An intense homesickness or an irresistible urge to return home: Tom had been away at boarding school for only 3 months when he had a ver strong longing to visit his parents in his village and because of this condition of nostomania he booked his flight the very next day!
3. An overwhelming desire to go back to familiar places: Lynn always wanted to show her children where she came from, and after a spell of nostomania, they all traveled to California to visit all the wonderful sites, regions, and localities where she had been as a child and teenager.
A compulsion to return to one's home.
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nostomaniac
Someone who has an irresistible or overwhelming desire to return home or go back to familiar places.
nostopathy
Rarely used. A mental illness whereby the subject has a fear of returning to familiar places.
nostophobia
An irrational fear of returning to one's home.
nostos
A homecoming, applied specifically to the homeward journeys of Odysseus and the other heroes of Troy.

Related "home; house" word units: domo-; ecdemo-; eco-.