meme

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See also: Meme, mémé, mème, même, mëmë, me̱me, and me'me'

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Coined by British biologist Richard Dawkins in 1976 in his book The Selfish Gene. Shortened (after gene) from mimeme, from Ancient Greek μίμημα (mímēma, imitation, copy).[1] The concept was later applied to the Internet by Mike Godwin.[2]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • enPR: mēm, IPA(key): /miːm/
  • Rhymes: -iːm
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

meme (plural memes)

  1. Any unit of cultural information, such as a practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another in a comparable way to the transmission of genes.
    Synonym: culturgen
    • 1976, Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene:
      Examples of memes are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches.
    • 2002, Rita Carter, Exploring Consciousness, p. 242:
      Related memes tend to form mutually supporting meme-complexes such as religions, political ideologies, scientific theories, and New Age dogmas.
    • 2014, James Lambert, “A Much Tortured Expression: A New Look At `Hobson-Jobson'”, in International Journal of Lexicography, volume 27, number 1, page 67:
      The original Hobson and Jobson stock comic characters have died out as a meme, as has the application of their names to the Muharram in India.
  2. (Internet, slang) Something, usually humorous, which is copied and circulated online with slight adaptations, including quizzes, basic pictures, video templates etc. [from 1993]
    • 2005, "darklily", OT: Livejournal (discussion on Internet newsgroup soc.sexuality.general)
      I do...but my journal is a mess. It's mostly filled with memes and my bitching about a house I am building.
    • 2012, Greg Jarboe, You Tube and Video Marketing, 2nd edition:
      The idea was to append Keyboard Cat to the end of a blooper video to "play" that person offstage after a mistake or gaffe, like getting the hook in the days of vaudeville. The meme became popular, Ashton Kutcher tweeted about it to more than 1 million followers, and more than 4,000 such videos have now been made.
    • 2013, The Guardian, (headline), 8 Feb 2013:
      Harlem Shake meme: the new Gangnam Style?
  3. (Internet slang) A myth circulating as truth; something ineffective presented as effective, or similar.
    it’s a meme degree
    jogging is a meme

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

Verb[edit]

meme (third-person singular simple present memes, present participle meming or memeing, simple past and past participle memed)

  1. (transitive, rare, Internet slang) To turn into a meme; to use a meme, especially to achieve something in real life.
    to meme into existence
    • 2016 October 31, Andrew Marantz, “Trolls for Trump”, in The New Yorker[2], retrieved December 2, 2017:
      Scott Greer, a deputy editor of the Daily Caller, tweeted, “Cernovich memed #SickHillary into reality. Never doubt the power of memes.”
    • 2017 November 6, “David Moyes to West Ham “memed into existence by the internet””, in Football Burp[3], retrieved December 2, 2017:
      David Moyes succeeding Slaven Bilić as West Ham United manager is being memed into existence by the internet, Football Burp understands.
  2. (intransitive, Internet slang) To create and use humorous memes.
    • 2018, Eric W. Saeger, Russian Nazi Troll Bots!
      One axiom commonly seen on /pol/ is "The Left Can't Meme"; in other words, left-wing meme jokes aren't funny.
  3. (intransitive, Internet slang) To joke around.
    • 2004 May 17, you, “Truth vs. Lies”, in alt.slack, Usenet:
      actually, it wasn't my mental functioning. i'm just memeing.
    • 2018 December 13, Aja Romano, “YouTube’s most popular user amplified anti-Semitic rhetoric. Again.”, in Vox:
      “[P]ewdiepie is, once again, doing exactly what neo-nazis want,” Kotaku reporter Nathan Grayson commented on Twitter in response to the incident. “[W]hether he’s just memeing or he ascribes to these values, it doesn’t matter. [W]hat matters is that he normalizes these ideas as jokes on THE platform where kids increasingly get their first exposure to the world at large.”
    • 2019, Rachel Monroe, Savage Appetites: Four True Stories of Women, Crime, and Obsession, →ISBN:
      Some of his fellow fascists thought he was just “memeing and pranking”; others dismissed it as “some autistic phase.”
    I thought you guys were just memeing.

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Richard Dawkins (1976) The Selfish Gene:
    We need a name for the new replicator, a noun that conveys the idea of a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation. 'Mimeme' comes from a suitable Greek root, but I want a monosyllable that sounds a bit like 'gene'. I hope my classicist friends will forgive me if I abbreviate mimeme to meme. If it is any consolation, it could alternatively be thought of as being related to 'memory', or to the French word même. It should be pronounced to rhyme with 'cream'.
  2. ^ Mike Godwin (1994-01-10), “Meme, Counter-meme”, in Wired[1]: “Not everyone saw the comparison to Nazis as a "meme" - most people on the Net, as elsewhere, had never heard of "memes" or "memetics." But now that we're living in an increasingly information-aware culture, it's time for that to change.”

Anagrams[edit]


Cebuano[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Onomatopoeic.

Verb[edit]

meme

  1. (childish) to sleep

Etymology 2[edit]

Borrowed from English meme.

Noun[edit]

meme

  1. a meme

Italian[edit]

Noun[edit]

meme m (plural memi)

  1. (protoscience) meme

Kongo[edit]

Noun[edit]

meme (singular meme, singular dimeme, plural mameme)

  1. sheep

Mandarin[edit]

Romanization[edit]

meme (Zhuyin ˙ㄇㄜ ˙ㄇㄜ)

  1. Pinyin transcription of 麼麼

Northern Ohlone[edit]

Verb[edit]

meme

  1. (Ramaytush dialect) kill

Portuguese[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English meme.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

meme m (plural memes)

  1. meme (unit of cultural information)
  2. (Internet) meme (humorous image, video or other media shared in the Internet)

Spanish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from English meme.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

meme m (plural memes)

  1. meme (unit of cultural information)
  2. meme (Internet slang)

Tok Pisin[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Reduplication of English meh (onomatopoeia for the sound a goat makes)

Noun[edit]

meme

  1. goat

Turkish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

EB1911 - Volume 01 - Page 001 - 1.svg This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page per etymology instructions, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.

Compare Azerbaijani məmə, Turkmen määme.

Noun[edit]

meme (definite accusative memeyi, plural memeler)

  1. (anatomy) breast

Declension[edit]

Inflection
Nominative meme
Definite accusative memeyi
Singular Plural
Nominative meme memeler
Definite accusative memeyi memeleri
Dative memeye memelere
Locative memede memelerde
Ablative memeden memelerden
Genitive memenin memelerin
Possessive forms
Singular Plural
1st singular memem memelerim
2nd singular memen memelerin
3rd singular memesi memeleri
1st plural mememiz memelerimiz
2nd plural memeniz memeleriniz
3rd plural memeleri memeleri