noun, plural in form but singular or plural in construction meta·da·ta \-ˈdā-tə, -ˈda- also -ˈdä-\

Definition of metadata

  1. :  data that provides information about other data

metadata was our Word of the Day on 05/30/2015. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

It's easy to find data on the source of "metadata": the word was formed by combining "data" with "meta-," which means "transcending" and is often used to describe a new but related discipline designed to deal critically with the original one. "Meta-" was first used in that way in "metaphysics" and has been extended to a number of other disciplines, giving us such words as "metapsychology" and "metamathematics." "Metadata" takes the "transcending" aspect a step further, applying it to the concept of pure information instead of a discipline. "Metadata" is a fairly new word (it first appeared in print in 1983), whereas "data" can be traced back to the middle of the 17th century.


First Known Use of metadata


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