Definition of meta in English:



  • short for meta key
    • ‘If you frequently use Alt keys-for example, if you use Emacs and Alt is your meta key-you probably will prefer this.’
    • ‘A predecessor of the pop-up window, the fast meta refresh trick involves opening one page and almost instantly having your browser redirected to another page.’
    • ‘Each of these elements is enclosed in angle brackets and begins with the word ‘meta’ (< meta… >).’


  • (of a creative work) referring to itself or to the conventions of its genre; self-referential.

    ‘the enterprise is inherently ‘meta’, since it doesn't review movies, for example, it reviews the reviewers who review movies’
    • ‘It's a song about several songs, and this meta aspect never sounds forced or calculated - instead, it seems artful and intuitive.’
    • ‘It's really easy to criticize a bad record, but impossible to do great music justice in ink (or meta ink for that matter).’
    • ‘Have we been, again, duped by the dripping irony that infects the post / meta genre, rendering it all but useless?’


1980s: from meta-.