Data that describes other data, as in describing the origin, structure, or characteristics of computer files, webpages, databases, or other digital resources.
From the Greek meta, meaning beside or after, and the Latin datum, meaning what is given. Data about data, that is, data that describes other data. For example, the title, subject, publisher, and author comprise metadata about its contents.
The definition of metadata is information about other information.
An example of metadata is a card catalog in a library, giving information about books.
Data that describes or underlies other data.
(1) (The Metadata Company, LLC, Long Beach, CA, www.metadata.com). Formerly Metadata Information Partners, Metadata is a software firm offering a variety of data management products and services. In 1986, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted the company incontestable status for the Metadata trademark. Whenever the term is used generically in this encyclopedia (definition #2 below), it is spelled with a dash (meta-data).