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/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.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (


(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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Dra Adriana Rocha Bruno sobre a tematica "MEME E EDUCACAO", trazendo multiplas problematizacoes e tensoes do uso dos memes e seus desdobramentos para as praticas educativas contemporaneas.
If comparing a coat or dress with a cat meme seems reductive, it certainly gives the label an edge.
On my part, I shouldn't consider the memes as bad publicity," she said.
NPC memes are usually used to refer to Trump-haters and prominent American progressive figures, including media outlets and agencies.
There are multiple candidates for the world's first internet meme. These hypotheses usually fluctuate depending on how strict the definition is for what can be called an internet meme.
There are plenty more memes on Twitter with the hashtag #SWEKOR.
If Milner has since become less ambivalent about the Internet's ambivalence, it is noteworthy that The World Made Meme was published in the decisive year 2016, and so was researched and written before the events of that year slowed optimism's roll.
Grumpy Cat's shelf life as a meme may have expired, but the news was enough to become a ( Twitter Moment , full of plenty of reactions.
If everyone is telling a particular story or joke, participating in a particular custom, or sharing a particular meme, there's a reason.
For me, 2017-2018 will be the year of the meme. I am going to translate my love for popular culture and memes into a teaching and learning tool--not just an icebreaker but also as a means for student expression.