Meme: A cultural element or behavioural trait whose transmission and consequent persistence in a population, although occurring by non-genetic means (esp. imitation), is considered as analogous to the inheritance of a gene.
-Oxford English Dictionary
The first time I was exposed to the idea of memes was in Daniel Dennett’s book, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, which I read for a college class on evolution. Dennett gave several examples of things he considered memes, such as the wheel, the arch, Beethoven’s 5th symphony, and Moby Dick. He argued that evolution is an algorithmic process that works on memes in the same way it works on genes.