\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Massachusetts Institute of Technology has issued a memo warning teachers and staff of looming campus visits by federal immigration officials, according to a report. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "MIT warns faculty and staff of ICE visits, urges cooperation: report," 12 Jan. 2020 If only the self-important Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would get the memo. New York Times, "The Best and the Worst of the Golden Globes," 6 Jan. 2020 Hunter explains that stores at risk of closing frequently stop accepting gift cards after a certain date, and customers don’t always get the memo. Nerdwallet, oregonlive, "When do your gift cards expire?," 25 Dec. 2019 Apparently, not all the V.I.P. guests flown to Saudi Arabia on private jets got the memo — some opted for stomach-baring bralettes under open coats. Washington Post, "Saudi Arabia cuts loose with bevy of models and a rave," 23 Dec. 2019 Apparently, not all the V.I.P. guests flown to Saudi Arabia on private jets got the memo — some opted for stomach-baring bralettes under open coats. Time, "Conservative Saudi Arabia Cuts Loose With Models and a Rave," 23 Dec. 2019 Kylie Jenner clearly got the memo on the high-fashion ski trend. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Going Skiing? Kylie Jenner Makes the Case for High-Fashion Gear," 9 Dec. 2019 The handicappers keep fitting him for a pine overcoat, but the voters haven’t gotten the memo. Jonah Goldberg, National Review, "Nostalgia Is the Ace up Biden’s Sleeve," 4 Dec. 2019 That year, Lewis Powell, prior to serving on the Supreme Court, wrote a memo calling on corporations to more aggressively fight regulations. Alec Macgillis, ProPublica, "“I Will Never Let Boeing Forget Her”," 11 Nov. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of memo

1705, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about memo

Statistics for memo

Last Updated

20 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Memo.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for memo


How to pronounce memo (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of memo

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on memo

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for memo

Spanish Central: Translation of memo

Nglish: Translation of memo for Spanish Speakers

Comments on memo

What made you want to look up memo? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


good-natured easy friendliness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!