Definition of meme in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /miːm/


1An element of a culture or system of behaviour passed from one individual to another by imitation or other non-genetic means.
Example sentences
  • As the building blocks of culture, memes influence every aspect of human behaviour.
  • Benzon is dismissive of accounts of evolution of culture that rely on memes being intentional states.
  • As people's skill at imitation increased, those memes that were good at getting copied would have spread far and wide.
2An image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations.
Example sentences
  • He says the appeal of the biggest memes is simple, basic humour.
  • Here's a great post at The Community Engine on spreading and tracking your meme using tags.
  • Adds a little context that makes particular sense if you have been following related memes in blogspace.



Example sentences
  • At each step of the way, there's a memetic code (memes operating as the business equivalent of genes), competition, and evolution.
  • The memetic approach is to ask why these particular memes spread.
  • This diagram takes into account that weblogs have different levels of insight within them, and that information is often replicated (either by active memetic spread or because the insights are simple and common).


1970s: from Greek mimēma 'that which is imitated', on the pattern of gene.

Words that rhyme with meme

abeam, agleam, beam, blaspheme, bream, deem, deme, downstream, dream, esteem, extreme, gleam, hakim, kilim, midstream, Nîmes, régime, scheme, scream, seam, seem, steam, stream, supreme, team, teem, theme, upstream

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: meme

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.