Definition of meme in English:


Video: a look at meme


  • 1An element of a culture or system of behaviour passed from one individual to another by imitation or other non-genetic means.

    • ‘While genes compete to get copied when plants and animals reproduce, memes compete to get stored in our memories and passed on to someone else.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The gene explains natural evolution and survival, while the meme explains cultural evolution and survival.’
    • ‘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.

    • ‘The Shaun Squad site of itself is not a meme, and never could be a meme, because it is inherently unlinkable.’
    • ‘Since these crazes can draw millions of internet users, advertisers and marketers are increasingly desperate to understand what makes a meme successful so that they can replicate it for profit.’
    • ‘Adds a little context that makes particular sense if you have been following related memes in blogspace.’
    • ‘Tracks tech memes, and people play the game of jumping on the hottest stories to try to build traffic.’
    • ‘He says the appeal of the biggest memes is simple, basic humour.’
    • ‘Rogue vendors attempted to capitalize from the growing interest in the Kenny Glenn meme and searching for Glenn directed to rogue sites.’
    • ‘What if you could get the originator of every major internet meme in the same room?’
    • ‘The latest meme to infect the internet features footage of Fatso the keyboard-playing cat.’
    • ‘The "news" was often flippant, being about internet memes and strange events, and the "newscaster" was flippant, too.’
    • ‘It's forum has spawned many memes and more than its fair share of trolls.’
    • ‘Wasn't there a meme a couple of years ago about giving people ownership of their personal data?’
    • ‘Here's a great post at The Community Engine on spreading and tracking your meme using tags.’
    • ‘A string of empty government slogans, meanwhile, was parodied in a popular meme known as "the river crab wears three watches".’
    • ‘Although it didn't win first prize, this one unleashed one of the most viral memes in the history of the Net.’


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