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A Meta key is a key on the keyboard that modifies each character you type by controlling the 0200 bit. This bit is on if and only if the Meta key is held down when the character is typed. Characters typed using the Meta key are called Meta characters. Emacs uses Meta characters as editing commands.
If the terminal has `km' but does not have `mm' and `mo', it means that the Meta key always functions. If it has `mm' and `mo', it means that the Meta key can be turned on or off. Send the `mm' string to turn it on, and the `mo' string to turn it off. I do not know why one would ever not want it to be on.
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