a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition and replication in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes.
a cultural item in the form of an image, video, phrase, etc., that is spread via the Internet and often altered in a creative or humorous way.
verb (used without object), memed, memeing or meming.
to create and spread memes: He spends a lot of time memeing and sharing his videos with friends.
verb (used with object), memed, memeing or meming.
to make the subject of a meme: cute cats that get memed.

1976; < Greek mīmeîsthai ‘to imitate, copy’; coined by R. Dawkins, British biologist Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
meme (miːm)
an idea or element of social behaviour passed on through generations in a culture, esp by imitation
[C20: possibly from mimic, on the model of gene]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1976, introduced by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in "The Selfish Gene" (1976), coined by him from Gk. sources, e.g. mimeisthai "to imitate," and intended to echo gene.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary


/meem/ n. [coined by analogy with `gene', by Richard Dawkins] An idea considered as a replicator, esp. with the connotation that memes parasitize people into propagating them much as viruses do. Used esp. in the phrase `meme complex' denoting a group of mutually supporting memes that form an organized belief system, such as a religion. This lexicon is an (epidemiological) vector of the `hacker subculture' meme complex; each entry might be considered a meme. However, `meme' is often misused to mean `meme complex'. Use of the term connotes acceptance of the idea that in humans (and presumably other tool- and language-using sophonts) cultural evolution by selection of adaptive ideas has superseded biological evolution by selection of hereditary traits. Hackers find this idea congenial for tolerably obvious reasons.
Example sentences
So no viral thoughts or memes are magically gravitating together.
There is no distinction made between memes relating to belief and knowledge.
Conservatism is the dying throws of the last generation's memes.
We each develop our memes by constructive interpretation of sensory experience.
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