This paper describes Lua, a language for extending applications. Lua combines procedural features with powerful data description facilities, by using a simple, yet powerful, mechanism of tables. This mechanism implements the concepts of records, arrays, and recursive data types (pointers), and adds some object-oriented facilities, such as methods with dynamic dispatching. Lua presents a mechanism of fallbacks that allows programmers to extend the semantics of the language in some unconventional ways. As a noteworthy example, fallbacks allow the user to add different kinds of inheritance to the language. Currently, Lua is being extensively used in production for several tasks, including user configuration, general-purpose data-entry, description of user interfaces, storage of structured graphical metafiles, and generic attribute configuration for finite element meshes.