(redirected from Memes)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Idioms, Wikipedia.


/meem/ [By analogy with "gene"] Richard Dawkins's term for an idea considered as a replicator, especially with the connotation that memes parasitise people into propagating them much as viruses do.

Memes can be considered the unit of cultural evolution. Ideas can evolve in a way analogous to biological evolution. Some ideas survive better than others; ideas can mutate through, for example, misunderstandings; and two ideas can recombine to produce a new idea involving elements of each parent idea.

The term is used especially in the phrase "meme complex" denoting a group of mutually supporting memes that form an organised belief system, such as a religion. 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 become more important than biological evolution by selection of hereditary traits. Hackers find this idea congenial for tolerably obvious reasons.

See also memetic algorithm.


(Pronounced "meem") A trend, belief, fashion or phrase that is passed from generation to generation through imitation and behavioral replication. Coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book "The Selfish Gene," memes and memetics are the cultural counterpart to the biological study of genes and genetics. Using the evolution analogy, Dawkins observed that human cultures evolve via "contagious" communications in a manner similar to the gene pool of populations over time. See Internet meme.
References in periodicals archive ?
So, whether your cultural communication style leans more toward old-school proverbs or up-to-the-minute memes, you can rest assured that you're engaging in some genuine folk culture either way.
For all intents and purposes, memes are popular culture.
Anos mas tarde, en una conferencia en Cannes, el propio Dawkins califico a los memes de internet como un "secuestro de la idea original", implicando que el concepto ha mutado y evolucionado por si mismo (como en la teoria de Darwin), ya que se adapta segun la creatividad de las personas.
Keep reading to see 20 cheeky internet memes about the insurance business ...
"There's a space -- a very important space -- that memes occupy," said Benjamin Burroughs, an assistant professor of emerging media at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.
Foreman says that people who struggle with suicidal thoughts or depression may find comfort in memes. However, it is not necessarily equivalent to reducing the risk, and that mindfulness is essential to how such content affects one.
In fact, she is flattered because people are taking time to create those memes. "Nakakatawa because 'di ba now ang gauge natin is when your 'memeable' like when you have memes and stuff?
Utilizando-nos do potencial marcante das imagens, tomando emprestada a dinamica e a discursividade dos memes em associacao com os aplicativos de producao e publicacao que na sociedade contemporanea fazem emergir praticas pedagogicas e experimentacoes cotidianas inspiradas nos conceitos de mobilidade, interatividade, ubiquidade e conectividade, principios que se baseiam a cultura digital para a construcao do conhecimento em rede.
The memes' sole purpose is to make the reciepient laugh.
With the fashion landscape so crowded, the ability of these memes to cut through our daily barrage of images hasn't gone unnoticed by brands.
Binay, who was seated beside Gray during the courtesy call last Tuesday, said she actually found the memes "funny and interesting."