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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.


(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 ?
Dubai: Minutes after content is published online or an event takes place, multiple memes are instantly created on social media usually mocking or highlighting specific footage, words or sentences.
The connection between Internet memes and proverbs may seem tenuous, but ask any folklorist and they'll let you know that these two forms share one major thing: they're folklore.
A well-placed meme is a conversation piece, and conversation breeds relationships.
Martha was also brought to meme Maria when she was young.
In an interview with American breakfast television show Good Morning America, Zeddie Little responded to questions about his meme appeal, "I really don't know, but I kinda feel honoured to be part of a joke that's in good spirit because sometimes the Internet can be a little vicious or jokes can get bent the wrong way.
La mayoria del dinero se obtuvo cuando el meme fue plasmado en camisetas de la tienda de ropa Hot Topic.
Producing a meme that goes viral on the web is like winning the marketing World Series.
Asi, fidelidad, fecundidad y longevidad son tres caracteristicas para que un meme pueda replicarse con exito: la fidelidad tiene que ver con que un meme siga siendo reconocible despues de multiples procesos de transmision; la fecundidad con su potencialidad o capacidad de fuerza para ser transmitido y la longevidad con su perdurabilidad en el tiempo (Dawkins, 1979).
Sur l'ensemble du premier semestre 2014, le chiffre d'affaires a atteint 67,287 MD contre 44,226 MD courant la meme periode en 2013, enregistrant ainsi une remarquable progression de 52,1%.
But to use a meme effectively, the brand has to identify its target audience, pinpoint their interests and zero in on the kind of media they consume the most.
The point of interaction between the meme rich environment that we live in and our body is the brain.