noun mem·o·ran·dum \ˌme-mə-ˈran-dəm\

: a usually brief written message or report from one person or department in a company or organization to another

law : an informal written record of an agreement that has not yet become official

plural mem·o·ran·dums or mem·o·ran·da\-də\

Full Definition of MEMORANDUM

:  an informal record; also :  a written reminder
:  an informal written note of a transaction or proposed instrument
a :  an informal diplomatic communication
b :  a usually brief communication written for interoffice circulation
c :  a communication that contains directive, advisory, or informative matter

Usage Discussion of MEMORANDUM

Although some commentators warn against the use of memoranda as a singular and condemn the plural memorandas, our evidence indicates that these forms are rarely encountered in print. We have a little evidence of the confusion of forms, including use of memorandum as a plural, in speech (as at congressional hearings). As plurals memoranda and memorandums are about equally frequent.

Examples of MEMORANDUM

  1. <I'm waiting for the memorandum that will explain the new vacation policy.>
  2. <the studio executives depend on endless memoranda to keep track of what's going on at a movie shot on location>


Middle English, to be remembered, from Latin, neuter of memorandus, gerundive of memorare
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Business Terms

amortize, caveat emptor, clearinghouse, divest, due diligence, emolument, green-collar, marque, overhead, perquisite
MEMORANDA Defined for Kids


noun mem·o·ran·dum \ˌme-mə-ˈran-dəm\
plural mem·o·ran·dums or mem·o·ran·da \-də\

Definition of MEMORANDUM for Kids

:  an informal report or message
:  a written reminder


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