The top bit of an 8-bit character, which is on in character values 128--255.
Also called high bit, alt bit, or hobbit. Some terminals and consoles (see
space-cadet keyboard) have a META shift key. Others (including, *mirabile
dictu*, keyboards on IBM PC-class machines) have an ALT key. See also bucky
Historical note: although in modern usage shaped by a universe of 8-bit bytes
the meta bit is invariably hex 80 (octal 0200), things were different on earlier
machines with 36 bit words and 9-bit bytes. The MIT and Stanford keyboards (see
space-cadet keyboard) generated hex 100 (octal 400) from their meta keys.
META « meta « META 5 « meta bit » MetaCard »
Meta-CASE tool » Metaclass