mem·​o·​ran·​dum ˌme-mə-ˈran-dəm How to pronounce memorandum (audio)
plural memorandums or memoranda ˌme-mə-ˈran-də How to pronounce memorandum (audio)
: an informal record
also : a written reminder
: an informal written record of an agreement that has not yet become official
: an informal diplomatic (see diplomatic sense 2) communication
: a usually brief communication written for interoffice circulation
The company president sent a memorandum to every employee.
: a communication that contains directive, advisory, or informative matter
The memorandum called particular attention to the plight of refugees.
memorandums or memoranda?: Usage Guide

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 in a Sentence

I'm waiting for the memorandum that will explain the new vacation policy. the studio executives depend on endless memoranda to keep track of what's going on at a movie shot on location
Recent Examples on the Web The House Oversight Committee wants to see more than 5,000 emails Vice President Biden sent using a pseudonym, while a third bank memorandum details further allegations of payments to the Biden family and its business associates. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, 8 Sep. 2023 In 2019 and part of 2021, the companies sold more than $1 million of artwork produced in the Philippines and passed off as Alaska Native, according to a sentencing memorandum filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Schmidt. Riley Rogerson, Anchorage Daily News, 7 Sep. 2023 In a memorandum to state lawmakers eight months before the West Maui fires, Hawaii Gov. Josh Green (D) noted the risks posed by invasive vegetation. Elahe Izadi, Washington Post, 2 Sep. 2023 The meth was then distributed across the U.S. A sentencing memorandum filed by prosecutors states Flores was responsible for moving 50 to 60 kilograms of methamphetamine and cocaine a month. City News Service, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Aug. 2023 Community Preservation and Development Director Drew Awsumb presented a memorandum to the city council providing general information on allowing residents to have chickens, bees and pigs in their yards, including how neighboring communities handle the issue. Richard Requena, Chicago Tribune, 22 Aug. 2023 Prosecutors asked for a 13-year sentence, noting in a sentencing memorandum that Lanez re—traumatized Megan Thee Stallion with social media posts about the trial, that led his followers to target her. Marlene Lenthang, NBC News, 7 Aug. 2023 The hiring was part of a memorandum of understanding, also approved Monday by the Mobile County Commission. John Sharp |, al, 28 Aug. 2023 The deal, which Bibb said would be sealed Wednesday through a memorandum of understanding, comes as the police division faces significant staffing shortages and is well below its recruitment goals this year. cleveland, 23 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'memorandum.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, to be remembered, from Latin, neuter of memorandus, gerundive of memorare

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of memorandum was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near memorandum

Cite this Entry

“Memorandum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


mem·​o·​ran·​dum ˌmem-ə-ˈran-dəm How to pronounce memorandum (audio)
plural memorandums or memoranda -də How to pronounce memorandum (audio)
: an informal record or communication
: a brief written reminder

Legal Definition


mem·​o·​ran·​dum ˌme-mə-ˈran-dəm How to pronounce memorandum (audio)
plural memorandums; plural memoranda -də How to pronounce memorandum (audio)
: a usually informal written communication
: a record (as a note) which is used by a party seeking to enforce an otherwise oral agreement in accordance with the Statute of Frauds to prove that the other party agreed to a contract and which need not contain all the terms of the contract itself
: brief

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