Geek Trivia

Who Coined The Term Meme?

Ray Bradbury
Richard Dawkins
Steve Wozniak
James Cameron
What Led To Newton's Development Of Infinitesimal Calculus?
Richard Dawkins, photo taken at a public presentation at University of Austin
Shane Pope/Wikimedia

Answer: Richard Dawkins

A meme is an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture. The term was first coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene as a shortened form of the Ancient Greek word mimeme. Memes, according to the study of memetics, share evolutionary traits with the biological process of evolution including mutation, variation, competition, and inheritance.

While memetic theory has been applied to everything from the examination of racism to architecture, most modern readers will be most familiar with the lighter side of memes: the replication of silly jokes and images across the internet via discussion forums and content sharing websites.