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[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.
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 memorandum
  • Granted, he was off thinking about topics in his discipline, and not about how to write the next memorandum.
  • Gold announced the faculty's approval of the new grading system in a memorandum to students last month.
  • At the end of my course, all of my students know how to write an informative précis or memorandum.
  • The memorandum will require approval at another referendum.
  • We recently published a memorandum on the principles of engagement in federal standards.
British Dictionary definitions for memorandum


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 memorandum

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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