Why was clemency trending last week?


[mem-uh-ran-duh m] /ˌmɛm əˈræn dəm/
noun, plural memorandums, memoranda
[mem-uh-ran-duh] /ˌmɛm əˈræn də/ (Show IPA)
a short note designating something to be remembered, especially something to be done or acted upon in the future; reminder.
a record or written statement of something.
an informal message, especially one sent between two or more employees of the same company, concerning company business:
an interoffice memorandum.
Law. a writing, usually informal, containing the terms of a transaction.
Diplomacy. a summary of the state of an issue, the reasons for a decision agreed on, etc.
a document transferring title to goods but authorizing the return of the goods to the seller at the option of the buyer.
Origin of memorandum
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin: something to be noted, noun use of neuter of memorandus, gerundive of memorāre to mention, tell
Related forms
prememorandum, noun, plural prememorandums, prememoranda. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for memoranda
  • They forced him out with a series of threatening memoranda listing his sins.
  • Government memoranda are replete with the abstractions designed to allow such numbing.
  • Last summer, it emerged that it had sanctioned two memoranda redefining the concept of torture more narrowly.
  • He was a copious writer of nearly illegible instructions and memoranda, but kept no diaries and never wrote a memoir.
  • The report includes excerpts from internal memoranda and e-mail messages.
  • One incident in this line was brought to my recollection the other day in looking over some of my old memoranda.
  • We cannot at present answer responsibly the question of the exact consequences of the memoranda by the administration's lawyers.
  • They will write reports instead of articles, memoranda instead of book reviews, and impact statements instead of monographs.
  • The current administrators face no threat more frightening than meetings and memoranda.
  • Aides say he turns around paperwork fairly quickly, responding to and signing off on their memoranda.
British Dictionary definitions for memoranda


noun (pl) -dums, -da (-də)
a written statement, record, or communication such as within an office
a note of things to be remembered
an informal diplomatic communication, often unsigned: often summarizing the point of view of a government
(law) a short written summary of the terms of a transaction
Often (esp for senses 1, 2) shortened to memo
Word Origin
C15: from Latin: (something) to be remembered
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for memoranda



early 15c., from Latin memorandum "(thing) to be remembered," neuter singular of memorandus "worthy of remembrance, noteworthy," gerundive of memorare "to call to mind," from memor "mindful of" (see memory). Originally a word written at the top of a note, by 1540s it came to stand for the note itself. The Latin plural is memoranda. Cf. also agenda.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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