noun: 1. a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition and replication in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes. 2. a cultural item in the form of an image, video, phrase, etc., that is spread via the Internet and often altered in a creative or humorous way. 3. an idea or element of social behavior passed on through generations in a culture, esp by imitation. 4. an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture: Memes (discrete units of knowledge, gossip, jokes and so on) are to culture what genes are to life. Just as biological evolution is driven by the survival of the fittest genes in the gene pool, cultural evolution may be driven by the most successful memes. — Richard Dawkins. 5. an amusing or interesting item (such as a captioned picture or video) or genre of items that is spread widely online especially through social media: … the band encouraged fans to make memes to advertise the U.S. release of their EP … — William Gruger. The grumpy cat meme frowned its way onto the Internet in September 2012 and never turned its dissatisfied head back. Since then, the image of the cranky cat has grown more and more popular in direct proportion to appearing less and less impressed by fame. — Anastasia Thrift. verb: 1. to create and spread memes: He spends a lot of time memeing and sharing his videos with friends. 2. to make the subject of a meme: cute cats that get memed. Related Words: trend, buzzword, idea, concept, craze, fad, fashion, kick, vogue, meteor. Origin: First recorded in 1976, meme is from the Greek word mīmeîsthai ‘to imitate, copy’; coined by R. Dawkins, British biologist. C20: possibly from mimic, on the model of gene. First Known Use: 1976. History and Etymology: alteration of mimeme, from mim- (as in mimesis) + -eme. Source 1, Source 2.