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Meta Class Vs. Super Class in Java

Java is an object-oriented programming language that uses a number of ideas to arrange and structure code. In this context, Meta Class and Super Class are two essential ideas. While they each have a part to play in maintaining links across classes, their functions and applications are different. We shall examine the definitions, applications, and distinctions of Java's Meta Class and Super Class in detail.

Meta Class in Java

A Meta Class in Java represents a class. It is a basic part of Java's reflection system and is a part of the java.lang package. The program may dynamically analyze and modify classes, methods, and fields during runtime, thanks to reflection.

The java.lang.Class class is a prime example of a Meta Class. It provides methods for examining the properties of classes at runtime.

Features of Meta Class

1. Creation of Instances

Unlike ordinary classes, meta classes are not directly instantiable. They are there to give details on other classes' fields, methods, and annotations, as well as their overall structure.

2. Inheritance

Meta classes are not included in the hierarchy of inheritance. They support a higher-level abstraction and are not part of the traditional class structure.

3. Access Modifier

Meta classes are typically restricted to the package to which they belong, with default or package-private access. This guarantees a regulated setting for activities linked to reflection.

4. Use in Code

Meta classes are useful in complex situations that call for runtime class manipulation or analysis. This covers operations such as inspecting annotations, retrieving class metadata, or even creating classes on the fly.


Class Name: MyClass


The example, provided by MetaClassExample, shows how to get the Meta Class for a given class (MyClass) and get runtime details about its fields and methods.

Super Class in Java

The direct ancestor class in the class hierarchy is represented by a Super Class, on the other hand. It is a basic idea in object-oriented programming (OOP) that makes class hierarchies easier to create.


The Object class in Java is a universal super class. All classes in Java directly or indirectly inherit from this class.

Features of Super Class

1. Creation of Instances

Subclass objects are instances of their corresponding super classes, and super classes themselves are capable of being instantiated. It makes it possible to use polymorphism and reuse code.

2. Inheritance

Super classes are involved in inheritance actively. It specifies shared characteristics and actions that their subclasses inherit. It encourages the development of a coherent class structure and the reuse of code.

3. Access Modifier

A super class's access modifier is determined by the modifier that is supplied (public, protected, default, private). Super classes are frequently created with significant thought given to how they will be used and seen.

4. Use in Code

The foundation of Java programming is made up of super classes. They are frequently used to organize code, establish class hierarchies, and encourage code reuse through inheritance.


The method from Super Class
Method from Sub Class


SuperClassExample illustrates a straightforward inheritance scenario in this example. By virtue of inheritance, the SubClass has access to the SuperClass's methods. A method that the Super and Sub Classes share, the sharedMethod serves as an example of how inheritance may be used to reuse code.

Aspect Meta Class Super Class
Definition It represents the class of a class. It represents the immediate ancestor class.
Instance Creation It cannot be instantiated. It can be instantiated.
Inheritance It does not participate in inheritance. It participates in inheritance.
Access Modifier It typically has default or package-private access. Access modifier depends on the specified modifier (public, protected, default, private).
Use in Code It is used more in advanced scenarios. For example, reflection, bytecode manipulation. It is used routinely for creating class hierarchies and code reuse.
Hierarchy Role Higher-level abstraction beyond classes. Immediate parent in the class hierarchy.
Java Package It is part of java.lang package (for example, java.lang.Class). It belongs to user-defined packages or the default package.
Method Overriding It does not override methods from the Object class. It can override methods from the Object class.


In conclusion, complex scenarios involving reflection and dynamic class mutation during runtime heavily rely on Java Meta Classes, which are represented by classes such as java.lang.Class.

Super Classes, on the other hand, are fundamental components of object-oriented programming. It allows for code reuse through inheritance and represent immediate ancestors in class hierarchies.

Super Classes, represented by the omnipresent Object class, are crucial for establishing organised class relationships, encouraging code organisation, and supporting basic OOP concepts like inheritance and polymorphism, even though Meta Classes are excellent at offering dynamic insights.

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