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.
pertaining to or noting an abstract, high-level analysis or commentary, especially one that consciously references something of its own type.
a consciously and playfully self-referential story, conversation, etc.: That dialogue was an example of meta at its best.
an abstract, high-level analysis or commentary: writing a meta to explain the character’s motivation.
to analyze or comment on something in a meta way: I spend more time metaing about the show than actually watching it.
Other definitions for meta (2 of 5)
(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.
Other definitions for meta (3 of 5)
pertaining to or occupying two positions (1, 3) in the benzene ring that are separated by one carbon atom.
Other definitions for Meta (4 of 5)
a female given name.
Other definitions for meta- (5 of 5)
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.
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.
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.
- Also especially before a vowel, met- .
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use meta in a sentence
Or perhaps Franco, meta-celeb extraordinaire, could star in the movie himself?Kim Jong Un, Avert Your Eyes: Sony’s ‘The Interview’ Gets the Porn Parody Treatment | Aurora Snow | December 20, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Optimization techniques allow people to discover you, just like the meta-text of a website.
Now, in a slightly meta moment, Brunt and Sky News are being harassed by the online community who blame them for her death.Outed Madeleine McCann Troll Kills Herself. But Millions Live On Online. | Barbie Latza Nadeau | October 6, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The clickbait backlash on various forms of social media is not only incredibly meta, but perhaps on first glance, overly dramatic.Saving Us From Ourselves: The Anti-Clickbait Movement | Emily Shire | July 14, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
At that point, the call first got meta as those remaining read tweets about the ongoing conference call.Racists and Conspiracy Nuts Turn Cochran Call Into The Biggest Campaign Sh*tshow of 2014 | Ben Jacobs | July 2, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
"How very good she must be," said little meta, quickly and softly; and a tear was sparkling on her eyelashes.
meta tried to say "thank you," but not succeeding, looked imploringly at her governess, who spoke for her.
Just then a carriage stopped, and from it stepped the pretty little figure of meta Rivers.
Music followed; Flora played nicely, meta like a well-taught girl; Ethel went on musing over the engravings.
It was cheerful, and his voice sounded well pleased as he greeted meta; then resumed an animated talk with Mr. Rivers.
British Dictionary definitions for Meta (1 of 2)
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)
British Dictionary definitions for meta- (2 of 2)
indicating change, alteration, or alternation: metabolism; metamorphosis
(of an academic discipline, esp philosophy) concerned with the concepts and results of the named discipline: metamathematics; meta-ethics See also metatheory
occurring or situated behind or after: metaphase
denoting an isomer, polymer, or compound related to a specified compound (often differing from similar compounds that are prefixed by para-): metaldehyde
denoting an oxyacid that is a lower hydrated form of the anhydride or a salt of such an acid: metaphosphoric acid Compare ortho- (def. 5)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012