can not distinguish.
By a mere linguistic definition, a heuristic is a process involving or serving as an aid to learning, discovery, or problem-solving by experimental and especially trial-and-error methods <heuristic techniques> <a heuristic assumption>; also : of or relating to exploratory problem-solving techniques that utilize self-educating techniques (as the evaluation of feedback) to improve performance <a heuristic computer program>.
Meta-heuristics on the other hand simply provide a framework beyond the experimental problem solving methods. Hence the term "meta", i.e. beyond in Greek. Meta-heuristics mainly involve the parallel probabilistic (can be changed based on the internal fine tuning of the algorithms parameters) exploitation and exploration of the solution space in order to search for sub-optimal solutions. They do provide a means to realise the probabilistic escape of local minima, a feature not catered for (at least in the generic default sense) in traditional heuristic algorithms.
Hope that brings some new insights on the very well written information of our previous colleagues in this thread.
Wayne State University
National University of Defense Technology
Vladimir S. Myasnichenko
Altai State Technical University
Université Constantine 2
Jesus Armando Beltran
Ensenada Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education
Islamic Azad University
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
Muhammad Fahmi Razali
Technical University of Malaysia Malacca