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Meta bit

/me-tÉ™ bit/

n. 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 bits.