Updated: 09/12/2023 by Computer Hope

Meta may refer to any of the following:

1. In general, meta is a word prefix derived from Greek μετά, meaning "after," "naturally following," "second-order," or "beyond."

Examples of words using meta

Some examples of words starting with the "meta" prefix:

  • A metamorphosis is a transformation from one shape to another. When a caterpillar changes to a butterfly, that is an example of metamorphosis.
  • The metacarpals are the bones in the hand. In this case, "meta" means "next after," and "karpos" is Greek for "wrist."
  • A metalanguage is a higher-order language that applies to another language. For example, grammar is considered a metalanguage that describes how a first-order language should be used.

See our full list of computer-related terms containing meta using our word and letter search.

2. Meta may refer to a meta key, a key on a computer keyboard that modifies the function of other keys pressed in combination.

3. In computing, a metacharacter is a character or sequence of characters that have special, rather than literal, meaning. For example, in a string, "\n" (backslash, followed by a lowercase n) is a metacharacter representing a newline.

4. Metadata is data that describes other data.

5. In HTML (hypertext markup language), the <meta> tag contains metadata describing the content of a web page, such as keywords.

6. In gaming, meta sometimes is an abbreviation for metagame, the conventional way a game is played due to changes or evolution of the gameplay style. For example, introducing new characters or items (or changes to their attributes) in a video game may alter the metagame. In games like chess, where the rules never change, a metagame refers to an evolution in the understanding or popularity of certain moves or strategies.

7. Meta is the rebranded name of the Facebook company name, announced on October 28, 2021. See our Meta company page for further information on this company.

Game terms, Keyboard terms, Metaverse, Programming terms