# Definition:Metalanguage/Metasymbol

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## Definition

A **metasymbol** is a symbol used in a metalanguage to represent an arbitrary collation in the object language.

**Metasymbols** are deliberately taken from a set of symbols that are **not** in the alphabet of the object language in question.

On $\mathsf{Pr} \infty \mathsf{fWiki}$, **metasymbols** are usually taken from any of:

- uppercase letters: $P, Q, R, \ldots$ and subscripted versions: $P_1, P_2, \ldots$
- the Greek alphabet: $\phi, \chi, \psi, \ldots$ and their subscripted versions: $\phi_1, \phi_2, \ldots$
- uppercase bold: $\mathbf A, \mathbf B, \mathbf C, \ldots$ and their subscripted versions: $\mathbf A_1, \mathbf A_2, \ldots$

Which system is in use on a particular page depends to a certain extent on the nature of the source work which has inspired it.

## Also known as

A **metasymbol** can also be referred to as:

Some sources also use the term **propositional variable**, but this has subtly different meaning on $\mathsf{Pr} \infty \mathsf{fWiki}$.

## Also see

- Results about
**metasymbols**can be found**here**.

## Sources

- 1959: A.H. Basson and D.J. O'Connor:
*Introduction to Symbolic Logic*(3rd ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): $\S 4.2$: The Construction of an Axiom System - 1965: E.J. Lemmon:
*Beginning Logic*... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $2$: The Propositional Calculus $2$: $1$ Formation Rules