\ ˈme-(ˌ)mō How to pronounce memo (audio) \
plural memos

Definition of memo

: a usually brief written message or report : memorandum Use headlines, bullets, and lists to organize the memo and the proposal.Inc. Magazine When your boss asks you to find a memo you wrote a year ago, it's hard to remember what you named it.— Susan Kelley
get the memo
informal + often humorous
: to hear about or become aware of something generally known typically used in negative constructions to point to someone's surprising lack of awareness, to say that something did not happen as expected, etc. Officials often warn tourists not to enter the water, but several tourists searching for that perfect Instagram photo apparently did not get the memo.The San Francisco ChronicleThe calendar may say only five more days until fall, but mother nature did not get the memo. It is going to be hot and feel even hotter over the next couple of days.— Carrie DuncanYou're not still wearing those acid-washed jeans, are you? Tube socks and shorts? … OK, so no one told you. You didn't get the memo. Those things went out with neckties the size of small landing strips.— Christine KeatingIt was expected to be a five-set test of endurance … But, Edberg apparently did not get the memo because he just dominated Courier and captured his first- ever U.S. Open title with a straight set triumph at the National Tennis Center in New York.— Van Earl Wright

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Examples of memo in a Sentence

He sent a memo to the staff. a long series of memos between the two authors collaborating on the book
Recent Examples on the Web The Pentagon says Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s Friday memo ordering a one-day stand-down for military leaders and civilian supervisors to discuss the problem of extremism in the ranks with their personnel is not aimed at any one group. Jamie Mcintyre, Washington Examiner, "Pentagon denies new push to root out extremists in the ranks is targeting conservative troops," 8 Feb. 2021 Critics of the Biden administration counter that the Jan. 20 memo will allow thousands of people with criminal histories to remain in the United States and possibly reoffend. Washington Post, "New Biden rules for ICE point to fewer arrests and deportations, and a more restrained agency," 7 Feb. 2021 While president, Trump signed a memo in July that attempted to exclude undocumented immigrants from the national population count that happens every decade. Shannon Larson,, "A look at each of President Biden’s executive orders," 5 Feb. 2021 Plans are to gut the more than 14,000 square-foot building including the second floor, abandoned for over 50 years, according to rehabilitation work outlined in a memo submitted with the permit. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit's Union Street restaurant could be put out of business by new grocery store," 4 Feb. 2021 Update, February 3, 8:50 a.m.: Country-radio stations owned by Cumulus Media, which owns over 400 stations in total, received a memo to remove Wallen’s music from all playlists, according to Variety. Charu Sinha, Vulture, "Morgan Wallen Is ‘Embarrassed’ That He Used the N-Word in Leaked Video," 3 Feb. 2021 In a memo that surfaced in 2014 litigation, a hospital in Washington State estimated that this practice generated $10 million annually. New York Times, "How Rich Hospitals Profit From Patients in Car Crashes," 1 Feb. 2021 The vaccination plan was authorized through a January 27 memo signed by Terry Adirim, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for health affairs at the Department of Defense. Catherine Herridge, CBS News, "Department of Defense pauses plan to give COVID-19 vaccine to Guantanamo detainees," 30 Jan. 2021 The city filed an 89-page memo documenting the problems with the property, including dozens of photos and incident reports. John Reinan, Star Tribune, "Minnesota town is flummoxed by resident who claims he's above the law," 29 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'memo.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of memo

1705, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

19 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Memo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for memo



English Language Learners Definition of memo

: a usually brief written message from one person or department in an organization, company, etc., to another

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Nglish: Translation of memo for Spanish Speakers

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