Meta



[mee-tuh] /ˈmi tə/

noun, plural metae
[mee-tee] /ˈmi ti/ (Show IPA)
1.
(in ancient Rome) a column or post, or a group of columns or posts, placed at each end of a racetrack to mark the turning places.
[met-uh] /ˈmɛt ə/
adjective, Chemistry.
1.
pertaining to or occupying two positions (1, 3) in the benzene ring that are separated by one carbon atom.
[met-uh] /ˈmɛt ə/
adjective
1.
pertaining to or noting a story, conversation, character, etc., that consciously references or comments upon its own subject or features, often in the form of parody:
A movie about making a movie is just so meta—especially when the actors criticize the acting.
2.
pertaining to or noting an abstract, high-level analysis or commentary, especially one that consciously references something of its own type.
noun
3.
a consciously and playfully self-referential story, conversation, etc.:
That dialogue was an example of meta at its best.
4.
an abstract, high-level analysis or commentary:
writing a meta to explain the character’s motivation.
verb (used without object)
5.
to analyze or comment on something in a meta way:
I spend more time metaing about the show than actually watching it.
[mee-tuh] /ˈmi tə/
noun
1.
a female given name.
1.
a prefix appearing in loanwords from Greek, with the meanings “after,” “along with,” “beyond,” “among,” “behind,” and productive in English on the Greek model:
metacarpus; metagenesis.
2.
a prefix added to the name of a subject and designating another subject that analyzes the original one but at a more abstract, higher level:
metaphilosophy; metalinguistics.
3.
a prefix added to the name of something that consciously references or comments upon its own subject or features:
a meta-painting of an artist painting a canvas.
4.
Chemistry.

/ˈmeɪtə; Spanish ˈmeta/
noun
1.
a river in Colombia, rising in the Andes and flowing northeast and east, forming part of the border between Colombia and Venezuela, to join the Orinoco River. Length: about 1000 km (620 miles)
prefix
1.
indicating change, alteration, or alternation: metabolism, metamorphosis
2.
(of an academic discipline, esp philosophy) concerned with the concepts and results of the named discipline: metamathematics, meta-ethics See also metatheory
3.
occurring or situated behind or after: metaphase
4.
(often in italics) denoting that an organic compound contains a benzene ring with substituents in the 1,3-positions: metadinitrobenzene, meta-cresol, m- Compare ortho- (sense 4), para-1 (sense 6)
5.
denoting an isomer, polymer, or compound related to a specified compound (often differing from similar compounds that are prefixed by para-): metaldehyde
6.
denoting an oxyacid that is a lower hydrated form of the anhydride or a salt of such an acid: metaphosphoric acid Compare ortho- (sense 5)
adjective

self-referential; referring to itself or its characteristics, esp. as a parody; about
Examples

That book is so meta.
noun

something with refers to itself, esp. in self-parodying manner
Examples

A movie-within-a-movie is an example of meta.
Word Origin

meta ‘beyond’

word-forming element meaning 1. “after, behind,” 2. “changed, altered,” 3. “higher, beyond;” from Greek meta (prep.) “in the midst of, in common with, by means of, in pursuit or quest of,” from PIE *me- “in the middle” (cf. German mit, Gothic miþ, Old English mið “with, together with, among;” see mid). Notion of “changing places with” probably led to senses “change of place, order, or nature,” which was a principal meaning of the Greek word when used as a prefix (but also denoting “community, participation; in common with; pursuing”).

Third sense, “higher than, transcending, overarching, dealing with the most fundamental matters of,” is due to misinterpretation of metaphysics as “science of that which transcends the physical.” This has led to a prodigious erroneous extension in modern usage, with meta- affixed to the names of other sciences and disciplines, especially in the academic jargon of literary criticism, which affixes it to just about anything that moves and much that doesn’t.

meta- or met-
pref.

language
The assembly language for the CYBER 200, developed at CDC ca 1977.
[CDC Pub 60256020].
[Jargon File]
(1994-11-16)
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)

Tagged:

Read Also:

  • Meta 5

    Early syntax-directed compiler-compiler, used for translating one high-level language to another. Versions: META II, META-3. [“META 5: A Tool to Manipulate Strings of Data”, D.K. Oppenheim et al, Proc 21st Natl Conf, ACM 1966]. [Sammet 1969, p. 638]. (1995-01-23)

  • Meta-analyst

    noun a person who carries out statistical analyses to integrate data from a number of independent studies



  • Metabasis

    metabasis me·tab·a·sis (mĭ-tāb’ə-sĭs) n. A change in the symptoms, course, or treatment of a disease.

  • Metabiosis

    [met-uh-bahy-oh-sis] /ˌmɛt ə baɪˈoʊ sɪs/ noun, Biology. 1. a mode of living in which one organism is dependent on another for preparation of an environment in which it can live. metabiosis met·a·bi·o·sis (mět’ə-bī-ō’sĭs) n. Dependence of one organism on another for the preparation of an environment in which it can live.



Disclaimer: Meta definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.