meta-

meta-
meta- [met′ə]
[< Gr meta, along with, after, between, among < IE * meta < base * me-, between > MID1] prefix
1. change in position or form, alteration, transposition [metathesis, metasomatism]: equivalent to TRANS-
2. after [metapneumonic]: sometimes, as in medical terms, equivalent to POST-
3. behind, at the back [metanephros]: in anatomical terms, equivalent to DORSO-
4. [< supposed analogy to metaphysics] going beyond or higher, transcending: used to form terms designating an area of study whose purpose is to examine the nature, assumptions, structure, etc. of a (specified) field [metalinguistics, metacriticism]
5. between [metope]
6. Chem.
a) a polymer of [metaldehyde]
b) a derivative of [metaprotein]
c) a less hydrated acid or salt [metaphosphoric acid]: see ORTHO-, sense 4a
d) characterized by substitutions in the 1, 3 position in the benzene ring: usually italicized and hyphenated in chemical names [meta-aminobenzoic acid]: see PARA-1, sense 2b, ORTHO-, sense 4b: Also (except for sense META- 6d), before a vowel, prefix met-

English World dictionary. . 2014.

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