AskDefine | Define mem

Dictionary Definition

mem n : the 13th letter of the Hebrew alphabet

User Contributed Dictionary

see Mem



  1. The thirteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, ם מ.



  1. meme

Related terms



  1. -self, -selves



  1. even

Extensive Definition

Mem (also spelled Meem or Mim) is the thirteenth letter of many Semitic abjads, including Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew and Arabic alphabet . Its value is .
The Phoenician letter gave rise to the Greek Mu (Μ), Etruscan !rowspan=2|RashiScript |- !|Serif !! Sans-serif !! Monospaced |- |width=20%|מ |width=20%|מ |width=20%|מ |width=20%||width=20%||}

Hebrew pronunciation

Mem represents a bilabial nasal, (), like the English M.

Variations on written form/pronunciation

In Hebrew, Mem, like Kaph, Nun, Pe, and Tzadi, has a final form, used at the end of words. Its shape changes from מ to ם. The pronunciation is not changed.


In gematria, Mem represents the number 40. Its final form represents 600 but this is rarely used, Tav and Resh (400+200) being used instead.
In the Sefer Yetzirah, the letter Mem is King over Water, Formed Earth in the Universe, Cold in the Year, and the Belly in the Soul.
The final form of Mem is used in the middle of a word only once in the Bible. In Isaiah 9:6, it says:
  • לםרבה (לְמַרְבֵּה) הַמִּשְׂרָה וּלְשָׁלוֹם אֵין-קֵץ.
  • That the rule may be increased, and of peace there be no end.
As an abbreviation, it stands for metre. In the Israeli army it can also stand for mefaked, commander. In Hebrew religious texts, it can stand for the name of God Makom, the Place.

Mem and Tarot

Mem, as the thirteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is most often associated with Death, Atu XIII. Aleister Crowley, however, in his Thoth tarot deck, assigns Nun to the thirteenth card, and Mem to the The Hanged Man.

Arabic mīm

The letter is named mīm, and is written in several ways depending on its position in the word: Mīm is used in the creation of ism words (i.e. nouns and adjectives; they are treated fundamentally the same in Arabic grammar). Specifically, mīm is used in the creation of the masdar of Stem III verbs (the masdar of verbs on the pattern fā`ala is mufā`ala), of subject and object nouns for verbs of Stems II-X (using the example of Stem II, subject nouns — called fā`il words because of their form in Stem I — are mufa``il, and object nouns — called maf`ūl also because of their Stem I form — take the form mufa``al). Place-nouns are also created with mīm; the pattern maf`al is used to create maktab "office" from the triliteral k-t-b (to write) and maṣna` "factory" from ṣ-n-` (to make).
mem in Tosk Albanian: ם
mem in Arabic: م
mem in Official Aramaic (700-300 BCE): ܡܝܡ
mem in Breton: Mem (lizherenn)
mem in German: Mem (Hebräisch)
mem in Spanish: Mem
mem in Finnish: Mem
mem in French: Mem (lettre)
mem in Hebrew: מ
mem in Japanese: م
mem in Malay (macrolanguage): Mim
mem in Dutch: Mem
mem in Norwegian Nynorsk: מ
mem in Thai: มีม
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