Meaning of META in English

META

< philosophy > /me't*/ or /may't*/ or (Commonwealth) /mee't*/ A prefix meaning one level of description higher. If X is some concept then meta-X is data about, or processes operating on, X.

For example, a metasyntax is syntax for specifying syntax, metalanguage is a language used to discuss language, meta-data is data about data, and meta-reasoning is reasoning about reasoning.

This is difficult to explain briefly, but much hacker humour turns on deliberate confusion between meta-levels.

[ Jargon File ]

(1999-04-06)

FOLDOC computer English dictionary.      Английский словарь по компьютерам FOLDOC.