memetics

noun, plural in form but singular in construction

me·​met·​ics mē-ˈme-tiks How to pronounce memetics (audio)
mə-
: the study of memes
Memetics sees ideas as a kind of virus, sometimes propagating in spite of truth and logic. Its maxim is: Beliefs that survive aren't necessarily true, rules that survive aren't necessarily fair and rituals that survive aren't necessarily necessary. Things that survive do so because they are good at surviving.Los Angeles Times, 20 Mar. 1999
memeticist noun
plural memeticists
Some memeticists liken memes to viruses; others say they're closer to genes. [Robert] Aunger rejects both models. To him, a meme is more like a benign parasite that's incapable of reproducing without a host, the host being the human brain. Jay Kirk, Wilson Quarterly, Summer 2002

Word History

First Known Use

1984, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of memetics was in 1984

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Dictionary Entries Near memetics

Cite this Entry

“Memetics.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/memetics. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

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