Metadata is the term applied to the definitions of the data stored in Teradata Database. Simply put, metadata is data about data. In a transaction processing database environment, a Data Dictionary generally satisfies the need for data about data. In the data warehouse environment, the requirements for a more elaborate metadata storage system can exceed the capabilities of the Data Dictionary.
Metadata plays an important role across Teradata Database architecture. In the operational database environment, that role is very formal. All development should use metadata as a standard part of the design and development process. As far as the data warehouse is concerned, metadata is used to locate data. Without it, you cannot not interact with the data in the data warehouse because you have no means of knowing how the tables are structured, what the precise definitions of the data are, or where the data originated.