What Defines a Meme?

We asked several NYU students to define the word “meme.” Here’s what they said.

“A virus that spreads through computers and infects humans. Once affected, a meme goes from a joke to a lifestyle.”  — CAS sophomore Pietro Guglielmi

“Memes are dank.” — CAS sophomore Michael Garzon

“I have no idea… I am not a meme person.” — Stern sophomore Yannick Akounou

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“A comedic representation that satires a certain dilemma or scenario that can make you laugh.” — CAS freshman Jacob Bass

“An image or short video that can be used to evoke a strong reaction — comedic, mostly — through the use of cultural or political insensitivity. I don’t know though.” — Steinhardt junior Caleb Rode

“A funny picture, video or gif that goes viral.” — Tisch junior Haley Griswold

“A cultural object that becomes ubiquitous through repetition, imitation and dissemination.” — Tisch sophomore Henry Cohen

“A photo that becomes a trend and is meant to be funny?” — LS sophomore Jane Harris

“A meme I guess is an image or a video that has a comment on it and makes people laugh.” — LS sophomore Emma Conaway

“A popular reference that can be used to describe a feeling or event common to a large number of people.” — LS sophomore Michael Ellis

“Some sort of cultural reference, usually an image, that a bunch of people in a society think is funny. They all may have had very different experiences in their life but this little reference is something that they all share.” — Tandon sophomore Andy Garcia

“Memes are a mockery of someone or something in popular culture using photos and words to describe a point of view on a topic.” — Gallatin sophomore Eli Kovacs

“A pic with a joke.” — Tandon senior Utkarsh Rana

Email Adryan Barlia at [email protected]

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