Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A short note written as a reminder.
  • n. A written record or communication, as in a business office.
  • n. Law A short written statement outlining the terms of an agreement, transaction, or contract.
  • n. A business statement made by a consignor about a shipment of goods that may be returned.
  • n. A brief, unsigned diplomatic communication.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a short note serving as a reminder
  • n. a written business communication
  • n. a brief diplomatic communication
  • n. a page in an annual publication honoring the memory of a person who died during the past year.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A record of something which it is desired to remember; a note to help the memory.
  • n. A brief or informal note in writing of some transaction, or an outline of an intended instrument; an instrument drawn up in a brief and compendious form.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Something to be remembered: used, originally as mere Latin, and usually abbreviated mem., to introduce a note of a thing to be done.
  • n. A note to help the memory; a record of something for future reference or consideration.
  • n. Specifically In law, a writing in which the terms of a transaction or some part of them are embodied.
  • n. In diplomacy, a summary of the state of a question, or a justification of a decision agreed on. Also (as French) mèmoire.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a written proposal or reminder

Etymologies

Middle English, to be remembered (used as a manuscript notation), from Latin, neuter sing. gerundive of memorāre, to bring to remembrance; see memorable.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin memorandum, neuter of memorandus ("to be remembered"), gerundive of memorare ("to bring to rememberance"); see memorate. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "If the memorandum is handed over and we are convinced by it, then we begin talks and end with naming who gets what in terms of positions in the country," said Mr. Allawi.

    Iraq's Allawi, Squeezed, Warms to an Alliance

  • Rather, this memorandum is intended solely as a guide to the exercise of investigative and prosecutorial discretion.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » As Predicted, New Justice Department Policy Didn’t Stop Federal Medical Marijuana Arrests in States Where Medical Marijuana is Legal Under State Law

  • The Obama memorandum is on the use of prizes in general, which is an innovative solution to all sorts of crises.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » OMB Has Its Eyes on Prizes

  • In a letter to Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy released today, Llywydd Dafydd Elis-Thomas dismisses claims in a memorandum from the Welsh Affairs Select Committee that there are too many LCOs:

    Archive 2008-08-01

  • "Please be advised that all foreign travel requests (SF 1175 requests) and any future travel requests involving or potentially involving climate change, sea ice and/or polar bears will also require a memorandum from the regional director to the director indicating who'll be the official spokesman on the trip and the one responding to questions on these issues, particularly polar bears."

    Archive 2007-03-01

  • Maliki Seeks Short-Term Fix Iraq's prime minister, Nouri al Maliki, said his government is seeking a short-term memorandum of understanding with the U.S. rather than trying to hammer through a formal agreement on the presence of U.S. forces.

    The Clock Ticks

  • The memorandum is then reviewed by the Office of Enforcement Operations and the Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division, the Office of Public Affairs, the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, and, ultimately, the Attorney General.

    Bloggers aren’t real reporters

  • (A bench memo is a memorandum from a clerk to a judge explaining the facts of the case, the lower court decision, and the relevant precedents, as well as recommending a rationale for resolving the appeal.)

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Bench Memos and the Ninth Circuit:

  • I noted that the very first document in the file is a memorandum from the Attorney General of the United States announcing that the process that led to the arrest of Kenji Ito and others after Pearl Harbor -- the very process on which Malkin relies for depicting Ito as suspicious (p. 272) -- was

    IsThatLegal?

  • She called her memorandum file, chiding herself as she always did for not calling it more often.

    Nightside The Long Sun

Comments

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  • "Choirs of angels seems to sing/Hymns of hate in memorandum"
    -"Bad Habit" from the Dresden Dolls' eponymous debut

    April 12, 2010